The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Jordan Berry will be the Steelers’ punter in 2021.
Explanation: Although he has been the Steelers’ punter for all but five games over the course of the past six years, those five games came at the start of the 2020 season after he was released prior to the season opener. Berry was only re-signed after Dustin Colquitt struggled enough in replacing him to get himself let go.
They tried to upgrade. They failed. The kinds of guys who tend to be available on the cheap, especially just before the start of a season, are likely not going to be an upgrade, after all. Berry is currently a free agent, but it’s only a matter of time before they sign him back.
There’s no rush to do it now, since there’s nothing going on, and the Steelers’ specialists have all been working with one another for some time already. They will look around and see what their alternative options are, but would they spend the resources?
Even considering the draft, Pittsburgh has too many areas of the roster that should be addressed first before they worry about a punting game that is merely average and not actively bad.
Yet it’s not like the Steelers haven’t drafted a punter before. In fact, in his first season here, Mike Tomlin traded up in the fourth round in order to draft Daniel Sepulveda, who, to his credit, actually would have developed into a very solid punter if he could stop tearing his ACLs.
Look, there’s a reason Berry wasn’t on the roster to start the season. They’re ready to move on. They’d seen enough. Perhaps if there wasn’t a pandemic going on last year, which saw them reuniting with every former Steeler under the sun from Sean Davis and Jerald Hawkins to Tegray Scales and Matthew Wright, they would have replaced Colquitt with somebody other than Berry.
Now they have a full offseason to find somebody else, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. Maybe it will even be Corliss Waitman, who was on the practice squad last year.