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: Cody White
Experience: 1 Year
Originally signed as a rookie college free agent out of Michigan State in 2020 by the Kansas City Chiefs, Cody White would find his way to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad by September of that season. Prior to that, he had also already spent time with the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos.
He spent that year on the Steelers’ practice squad and returned in 2021, encouraging coaches with his performance both on and off the field, enough to start getting him into higher groupings among the wide receivers. Though he spent time injured, he was able to participate in the preseason, catching seven passes for 46 yards. But those included some tough grabs on possession downs, and he also put in work as a blocker and on special teams.
He showed the coaches enough that when JuJu Smith-Schuster went down with a shoulder injury, they called White up from the practice squad to act as their number five receiver on the depth chart. He only played 77 snaps on offense, but he added another 105 on special teams, registering four tackles.
As a wide receiver, he did catch five passes on six targets (which was a drop), for 33 yards, three of which went for first downs. The biggest chunk of his playing time came in Week 16 against the Kansas City Chiefs, playing 28 snaps and catching three passes—playing because it was a blowout loss.
As they usually do, when the Steelers make a long-term promotion to the 53-man roster, they sign the player to a two-year contract, so White is already under contract for the 2022 season on a non-guaranteed $825,000 deal, which is the veteran minimum for a player with one accrued season.