While NFL rookie minicamps are still currently scheduled to take place after the 2021 NFL Draft, teams will be limited in the amount of tryout players they can have on hand this year due the ongoing fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, teams did not have rookie minicamps due to the pandemic.
There were no rookie minicamps at all in 2020, so dozens, if not hundreds of unsigned players never got a chance to compete. COVID continues to impact normal football operations, and those opportunities will be limited again this year.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 22, 2021
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media on Thursday, the league has informed teams that they’ll each be limited to a maximum of five tryout players at their respective rookie minicamps next month.
A lot of teams around the league, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, usually have sizable amounts of tryout players on hand annually for their rookie minicamps. In short, this news today is not great for the Steelers.
In 2019, the last time the Steelers held a rookie minicamp, their initial roster for that event included 18 tryout players in total. The two most notable players of those 18 were quarterback Devlin Hodges and outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper.
With this new stipulation for rookie minicamps now in place, it will be interesting to see what the Steelers ultimately do at that quarterback position. None of the four that they currently have under contract are likely to be eligible to participate in those sessions due to none of them being rookies or first-year players. Unless those participation rules have changed, you can probably count on the Steelers signing at least one undrafted free agent quarterback, and possibly having another one come in on a tryout basis. This assumes the Steelers don’t draft a quarterback this year.