Cutdown day is never a good day for anybody who doesn’t make the team. But it seemed to be an especially bad day for former members of the Pittsburgh Steelers—even if the Steelers were not their most immediately recent team. A number of them are currently free agents after failing to latch on with their current teams, though some will have to go through waivers.
The most notable name you’re surely already familiar with, that being safety Sean Davis. Even after giving him a $2 million signing bonus, the Washington Football Team chose to release him yesterday, moving into the season with a group of safeties consisting of Landon Collins, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke, and rookie Kamren Curl. Apke will be the likely starter.
Before anybody asks, yes, it would make sense for the Steelers to inquire about Davis, who will be immediately available. He will naturally explore his options and will view himself as a starter. He may even choose to wait in the event of an in-season injury to try to sign. Should he be amenable to a minimum-salary contract to serve as depth in Pittsburgh, however, he would be welcomed back.
Another notable release was Anthony Chickillo, whom the Steelers released earlier this offseason in a salary cap move. The New Orleans Saints saved a bit of cap space in this move as they angled but failed to agree to terms with Jadeveon Clowney.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars after serving last season as a backup. The Steelers traded him for a fifth-round pick and then brough in Devlin Hodges to the practice squad. It would be interesting to see if the Steelers will try to reunite with him, perhaps not to oust Hodges, but to sign to the practice squad, where he could be useful for, among other things, emulating the mobile quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson they will have to face this season.
Donte Moncrief’s time with the Steelers in 2019 was short. His time with the New York Jets was even shorter. After a tryout, he signed with them on August 31. He was released yesterday. Another former Steelers, offensive lineman Patrick Morris, who was lost off waivers last season, was let go by the Denver Broncos yesterday, with former Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who did coach him in 2018.
There is some good news, however, as Mark Barron, who signed with the Broncos recently, did make the team. They released veteran linebacker Todd Davis, instead, as it looks like Barron may have regular playing time. The Broncos face the Steelers early in the season. Nick Vannett also made the roster.
While B.J. Finney did make the Seattle Seahawks’ roster, from the sounds of it, it will be as a reserve, rather than as a starter. Meanwhile, Artie Burns, after signing with the Chicago Bears, tore his ACL. Javon Hargrave remains out with an injury in Philadelphia. Former tight end Xavier Grimble was let go by the Indianapolis Colts. He would be a welcome addition to the practice squad.
Just about the only former Steeler who had a clean offseason—never released, never losing his expected role, never getting injured—was Tyler Matakevich, living large with the Buffalo Bills. Sums up 2020, I think.