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: OLB Cassius Marsh
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: With the recent signing of veteran former Pro Bowler Melvin Ingram, the prospects of Cassius Marsh meaningfully contributing on defense this season, and possibly even making the 53-man roster, have greatly diminished.
A couple weeks ago, Cassius Marsh was in the position of perhaps being the frontrunner for being the outside linebacker who would be first off the bench behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Now, with the addition of Melvin Ingram, that’s clearly not the case. You don’t add a starting-caliber player to your position group and not see some players get knocked down a peg.
Marsh, a career journeyman, was originally acquired toward the end of the 2020 season and only played in two games, including the postseason. He also spent a brief period of time on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. After Bud Dupree’s injury put Highsmith in the starting lineup, he was playing ahead of Ola Adeniyi and Jayrone Elliott.
But with Ingram here, and also with the addition of Quincy Roche, it’s unlikely that he will play much on defense this season, and he may even struggle to make the 53-man roster. His ability to play on special teams (he has around 1,000 career snaps here) will help convince the team to carry five outside linebackers, but it’s not something they do by default unless that fifth player merits it.
While Ingram will obviously the first player off the bench, though, there could be times that they sub out both of their starters, in which case Marsh could be in line for some snaps in that instance. Any time one of the starters is injured would be another opportunity.
That is assuming that he keeps ahead of Roche, whom many regard as much more talented than his sixth-round pedigree. Especially in the event that Roche is able to show the staff that he can be the number four edge rusher, and also play on special teams, that could really make Marsh vulnerable.