Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: OL Matt Feiler
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: While he may have potentially boosted his value a bit by showing that he is capable of being a starter at either tackle or guard, Matt Feiler’s 2020 season at left guard was clearly a step down from his prior starts at right tackle, as he sets to hit the open market.
Regardless of what happens, I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that Matt Feiler is going to earn himself a bit of money this offseason, and he is going to have a starting job, wherever he ends up. I think the odds are pretty slim that he doesn’t actually end up starting, unless he chooses to sign into an inopportune environment.
After all, he does have 39 starts under his belt over the course of the past three seasons, with many of the missed starts only coming due to injury. He took over at right tackle five games into the 2018 season, and has been a starter since then.
The fact that he has made a substantial number of starts both at guard and at tackle now is really a feather in his cap as far as free agency is concerned, because that means teams can be looking at him as a potential starter at multiple positions, whether they’re looking for a guard or a tackle…and they don’t even have to decide right away, since he can play either.
The problem is, while he was serviceable enough overall playing at left guard, and he should only look more comfortable playing there in a second year of doing it, he was also clearly better at tackle, so his most recent tape is not his best tape, and generally except for injury, that’s not what you want.
Now, will the Steelers be interested in re-signing him, and if so, at what cost? And for what position? Because it already seems like they’re comfortable with Kevin Dotson playing at left guard, but there are going to be question marks at tackle, so it’s possible he could wind up back where he has been best—at right tackle—if he remains in the Steel City.