Roster turnover is an inevitability in this league, but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster has changed considerably since the end of last season, with many players who have been important to this franchise now gone, either retired, in limbo, or in another uniform. As we wind down the time until training camp opens, it feels appropriate to acknowledge the old faces that we’ll no longer be seeing on the sidelines this year.
That includes Pro Bowlers and former high draft picks, as well as undrafted free agents of varying accomplishment. Four losses along the offensive line, multiple departures at linebacker and in the secondary, and other changes mixed in, will make for a rather different roster.
All the same, there are the steady presences that remain: the Ben Roethlisbergers, the T.J. Watts, the Cameron Heywards. Who will be the next long-term faces? Minkah Fitzpatrick will certainly be one. What about Cameron Sutton? Zach Banner? Kevin Dotson? Devin Bush? When will their names be included in this retrospective?
S Sean Davis
This was a parting we already expected to see a year ago, but circumstances would provide for a postponement. The Steelers’ second-round pick in 2016, Sean Davis, a versatile defensive back out of Maryland, would spend most of his rookie contract as a starting safety, but quickly found himself dealt a tough hand in his contract year.
Hoping to finally gain some stability in his second season after moving to free safety, Davis would be plagued by injuries in 2019, even in OTAs and training camp. Then he suffered a collarbone injury in the second game of the season, his debut after missing the opener, that would land him on the Reserve/Injured List.
The Steelers surprisingly went out and acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick for a first-round pick, assuring that Davis would not be back. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal with Washington last offseason, but he was cut before opening day, and Pittsburgh re-signed him as depth.
That meant one more season in the black and gold for their former second-rounder, though he would play behind Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds. In fact, others would even get opportunities to play as in-game injury fill-ins before he got an opportunity to start the season finale when Edmunds missed the game due to injury.
Davis signed a one-year minimum salary contract with the Indianapolis Colts back in April, though frankly, to be honest, I really don’t have much idea about his prospects of making the team, let alone starting. They already have two young starters there, as well as some veteran depth in the experienced Ibraheim Campbell.
As for Pittsburgh, well, they could still use veteran depth here. Fittingly, they have hosted former Colts first-round pick Malik Hooker, who is an area native. Hooker remains unsigned, and it’s not impossible that Pittsburgh loops back and signs him eventually, if he comes at the right price, to insulate the position from injury, with Antoine Brooks Jr. as the current top backup.