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: P Jordan Berry
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Since the Steelers used a seventh-round draft pick to bring in another punter, incumbent Jordan Berry has reportedly looked good during OTAs and minicamp as he hopes to retain his job for a sixth season.
I already know what the responses are going to look like. How could his stock be up after the Steelers drafted a punter? He’s obviously not going to make the team, his stock clearly should be down. The same sorts of comments crop up quite a bit.
That’s because the point of the series is often missed. The stock watch is supposed to reflect the stock market, or an abstract idea of the stock market, where a player’s value can go up and down, either dramatically or minimally, on any given day, and multiple times throughout the course of a year, a month, or even a week, based on what’s going on.
Jordan Berry’s net stock value obviously plummeted once the Steelers drafted Pressley Harvin III, which is why I already wrote about it more than a month ago. But this is about what has transpired since then. Most specialists who get drafted do make their teams, though Pittsburgh managed to find a way to buck that trend with Colin Holba.
But Berry’s stock has gone up, just a hair, based on reports from the beat writers on his performance from OTAs and minicamp. Over at The Athletic, for example, they argue that he has helped himself during this time, basically going from having no chance of retaining his job to a small possibility that he sticks.
After all, he was cut after training camp last year, only to work his way back. When he returned, he did play some of the best football of his career. There’s no guarantee that Harvin is actually going to be good, either, just because he was drafted, or because he outweighs the team’s linebackers and has a big leg.
Pressley is a draft pick, yes, but he’s also a challenger. The Steelers and the rest of the specialists have a years-long working relationship with Berry. They are comfortable with him, and that does count. He still faces long odds of sticking, under the circumstances, but they’re greater than zero, despite what many want to think.