The Pittsburgh Steelers did not have a lot of wiggle room on the salary cap entering the 2020 season. And it seemed as though they may have made a couple of decisions on the back end of the roster to shave off a bit here and there, especially in light of the expanded practice squad and things of that nature.
Some notable names who were roster cuts including Daniel McCullers, Ryan Switzer, and Jordan Berry, all of whom were making more than the minimum. McCullers was originally signed to the practice squad, and has signed been picked up by the Chicago Bears as depth. The Steelers brought Berry back this past week after growing displeased with Dustin Colquitt’s performance.
The Aussie spoke to the media today about life this offseason, and he talked about his release. Asked what he was told when they made the decision to cut him—which was before Colquitt was even brought in for a workout—he said it was a number of factors that led to that decision.
“At the end of camp, when I got let go, it was one of those things where in this game, they have a lot of things to take into consideration—performance, and salary cap, and all sorts of different things”, he told reporters. “So you just put it together and just the combination of all that, and they felt they had to let me go there at the start”.
Berry initially made the roster in 2015 as a first-year player, with the Steelers finding a trading partner for incumbent Brad Wing. He spent the next five years as the team’s punter and put together some of the franchise’s best seasons from the position from a statistical standpoint—even if they still fall below today’s standards.
But he told reporters that there were still those in the building who believed in him and never wanted to let him go in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised for a second if special teams coordinator Danny Smith were among his defenders.
“I was obviously disappointed that I got let go, but I wasn’t really gonna push an opportunity to come back, because there’s still a lot of people in the building that wanted me here”, he said. “So when I got the opportunity to come back, I obviously wanted to come back and do my best for those guys that were fighting to keep me in the job initially”.
Berry only attempted two punts in his first game back, but both were solid. He may have to get more work in this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, who average a three-and-out drive forced about once per five drives, and rank first and scoring-drive percentage allowed, at just 26.5 percent (the Steelers rank third behind the Miami Dolphins).