The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted from the postseason in the opening round, which unfortunately marks the fifth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game—a new record for the franchise since the merger. Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
The Steelers did arguably perform at or above expectations this year by going 9-7-1 and making the postseason at all, a reflection of just how much talent they lost during the offseason, from the majority of the offensive line to Mike Hilton, Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Vince Williams—not to mention Stephon Tuitt, essentially.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between head coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2021 season.
Player: CB Arthur Maulet
Experience: 5 Years
I’m not sure many people gave it a second thought when the Steelers announced that they had signed cornerback Arthur Maulet to a one-year free agent contract back in May, shortly after the 2021 NFL Draft took place.
Yet he would go on to spend the majority of the season as the team’s primary nickel back and slot defenders, the closest thing that they had on the roster to a defensive back with Mike Hilton’s diverse skill set—which you can witness later tonight in the Super Bowl, I’ll remind.
After spending the first weeks of the season not playing much on defense, the Steelers settled into a groove with Maulet during which he was averaging about 25-30 snaps per game, sometimes hitting 40-plus snaps on occasion.
While he did not have much of an impact in coverage—zero interceptions and officially credited with just one pass defensed—he was most effective in the box, with 47 tackles (albeit some on special teams), and five tackles for loss, the sort of stat line we got familiar seeing from Hilton.
But Maulet is, if we’re being honest, kind of the budget Hilton, who is costing the Bengals $6 million per season now, though they certainly don’t appear to be regretting it. There isn’t really anything in Maulet’s skillset that Hilton doesn’t do at least as well. But they’re not getting Hilton back any time soon. That ship has sailed.
Naturally, it would be wise for the Steelers to keep their options open in the slot, but it would be quite wise for them to try to bring Maulet back on another cheap deal, maybe even a multi-year contract. He can be a key special teams player while providing quality depth in the slot on defense, and even serve in nickel or dime packages.