Most people haven’t done much travelling over the last twelve months. But B.J. Finney was all over the country. And he’s hoping to take a pause from all the frequent flier miles. Last offseason, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks on a two-year, $8 million contract. But he struggled mightily with his new team and by the trade deadline, was shipped out to Cincinnati. The Bengals didn’t offer much more playing time and made an easy decision to cut him this offseason, saving plenty of money in the process.
Now he’s back in the place his NFL career began. Pittsburgh. And hopes to be able to put down roots the way he did his first four seasons.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Finney described what the last year has been like for him and his family.
“I think you summed it up nicely with one word,” he said over a Zoom call. “Absolutely a whirlwind. My family and I did one great big circle lap of the United States. Going from Pitt to home in Kansas and then to Seattle and being traded to Cincy. And now we’re back here in Pitt. I don’t suggest moving four times, especially across country with a little one. It’s not fun.”
For those scoring at home, the Pittsburgh-Wichita-Seattle-Cincinnati-Pittsburgh round trip runs 5,465.6 miles. Hope the Finney’s have a deep-seeded love for the license plate game.
In 2021, Finney hopes time on a plane is limited to travelling with the team for their away games. He certainly has a better chance to stick with the Steelers. Pittsburgh was quick to bring him back after Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement, their veteran option in the middle. The team drafted Kendrick Green in the third round. He’ll be Finney’s main competition for the starting job. But even if Finney loses it, he’ll hold value as a backup capable of playing all three positions along the interior.
It’s a sense of calm Finney hasn’t experienced since he first left the city.
“Last year it wasn’t ideal. But we’re happy to be here with some familiarity and people that we know and love and ready to get back to business.”
Finney, a Steelers’ fan growing up, signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State in 2016. He made 13 starts for Pittsburgh from 2016-2019, logging time at center and guard.