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: ILB Avery Williamson
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: Given the fact that he could not retain a starting spot over Robert Spillane when the latter returned from injury, it does not bode well for him to have a robust market in free agency.
Avery Williamson is a seven-year veteran in the NFL, having played nearly 100 games (he missed a full season due to injury in 2019) and with 85 starts to his name. He has compiled over 600 tackles during his playing time with 15.5 sacks, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries, with 36 passes defensed.
Yet one has to wonder what his market is going to look like, coming off of a season in which he was traded by a bottom-feeding time for whom he had been a starter to a team who at the time had the best record in football and served as depth.
He ultimately played in eight games for the Steelers, starting the final four of the regular season after Robert Spillane suffered a knee injury. He recorded 52 tackles, which is impressive, plus a sack, though his tape is less notable than his statistical output.
Williamson just completed a three-year contract worth $22.5 million, an average annual salary of $7.5 million. Especially in light of the current salary cap situation, which won’t be much higher than the year he signed that contract, it’s unlikely he sees any deal close to that.
It’s to the point where one might wonder if it would be affordable for the Steelers to keep him on the cheap. Truth be told, I’m rather interested to see what his market will be like, though it’s not like others the Steelers cast off couldn’t find homes, as in Jon Bostic and Mark Barron.