The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted from the postseason in the opening round, which unfortunately marks a slight improvement from the past two seasons, during which they did not even qualify for the playoffs altogether. They have now done four seasons without securing a victory beyond regular season play.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
They did manage to go 12-4 during the regular season, and secured their first AFC North title since 2017, posting a new franchise record by opening the season with 11 consecutive wins, but of course it all fell apart after that. Their only victory after that required a 17-point comeback.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between head coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2020 season.
Player: Avery Williamson
Experience: 7 Years
A former fifth-round pick, Avery Williamson has spent the vast majority of his career as a full-time starter. He started 12 of 16 games during his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans and then every other game since then until the second game of the 2020 season—after missing the entire 2019 season with a torn ACL, and missing the opener of the following year, as he was slowly worked back into the rotation.
That was with the New York Jets, with whom he signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal in 2018. He played over 1000 snaps for them that year, but then missed the following year due to injury. In seven games with them last season, he still put up 59 tackles and an interception.
Then they traded him to the Steelers in the middle of the season, to become depth, after they had lost Devin Bush in the fifth game of the year with a torn ACL. They were content with the play that they were getting from Robert Spillane in his place, but felt he could rotate in.
Ultimately, Williamson dressed for eight games with the Steelers, though the first was pretty much ceremonial. He started four games while Spillane dealt with an injury of his own at the end of the regular season, ultimately logging over 300 defensive snaps for the team and contributing 52 tackles during that time.
Even though he only played 664 snaps last year combined, he still put up 111 sacks between his 15 games—10 starts—with the Jets and Steelers in 2020. That’s an impressive tackle total, though of course it doesn’t tell the full story.
It does show that he’s around the ball and he gets guys on the ground. And he is currently a free agent, with there being no indications that he has had much of a market. Should he come rather cheap—and we’re talking veteran minimum territory here—he could help soften the blow of parting ways with Vince Williams.