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: Deon Cain
Experience: 2 Years
Remember when Deon Cain was going to be the next big thing? Originally signed off of the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad with six games left to play during the 2019 season, the 6’2” beanstalk wide receiver was able to find some production late that season with five catches for 72 yards.
A former sixth-round pick by the Colts in 2018, he spent his rookie season on the Reserve/Injured List before making the team the following year, but he was waived and re-signed to their practice squad after playing the Steelers that year. Needing a wide receiver after JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson both got hurt that year, the Steelers signed Cain to their 53-man roster.
Given his fine cameo appearance, it was thought that he would have a very good chance of making the 53-man roster in 2020, likely as the fifth or sixth wide receiver between himself and Ryan Switzer, with a rookie also in the mix.
That rookie would be second-round pick Chase Claypool, but as it would turn out, the Steelers would keep only five wide receivers, and it would be neither Switzer nor Cain, but rather special teams returner Ray-Ray McCloud.
Cain, however, was retained on the practice squad, where he spent all season. He did get the opportunity to be elevated on two separate occasions (the limit for standard elevations for any one player during a single season), but only amassed 10 total snaps and without receiving a target.
The Steelers either elected not to tender him a Reserve/Future contract, or Cain declined to sign one with the team. Either way, he is actually on the Baltimore Ravens right now, behind Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and the newly-signed Sammy Watkins.