2021 Offseason Questions: Does DeCastro Have Grievance Case (And Will He Pursue It)?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books. It ended in spectacular fashion — though the wrong kind of spectacular — in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense. Multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. Right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quo with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?

These are the sorts of questions we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football is a year-round pastime and there are always questions to ask, though there is rarely a concrete answer. This is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all of their uncertainty.

Question: Does David DeCastro have a case for a grievance against the Steelers that he can win?

While the Steelers may have waived David DeCastro last week with a non-football injury designation, there certainly doesn’t appear to be an acrimony on other side over the decision—even if DeCastro has stated that he will leave it up to the union to decide whether or not he has a grievance case to file.

While he was waived with a non-football injury, he told reporters that his doctors have indicated that the ankle injury, on which he is set to have a third surgery, may stem all the way back from the injury that he suffered during the preseason of his rookie season.

Then-second-year tackle Marcus Gilbert was engaged with a defender as the pair were forced in the direction of DeCastro, which resulted in having his leg fallen upon. He suffered a torn MCL, which knocked him out for most of his rookie season, but it’s reasonable to assume that that incident caused damage elsewhere.

So his recurring ankle issues may well stem from a football injury—but it was more than nine years ago, and how can you prove it? That’s for the NFLPA and DeCastro’s agent to determine whether or not it warrants going for whatever he might be owed via an improper release, though if he simply decides to retire, he may forget about the whole thing even if may have a legitimate case.

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