Player: Montravius Adams
Position: Defensive Lineman
Experience: 5 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2021 Salary Cap Hit: $283,333
2021 Season Breakdown:
A former third-round pick out of Auburn, Montravius Adams was an in-season pickup by the Steelers as a response to a litany of injury issues along the defensive line, and the consequent poor play, particularly against the run. With Stephon Tuitt never playing and Tyson Alualu fracturing his ankle, Carlos Davis also going down, and Isaiah Buggs failing to develop in consistency, they had to look for an alternative.
They found one on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad. Adams was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers, and he played out his rookie contract there before signing a one-year deal last offseason with the New England Patriots. He did not make the cut, but found his way to New Orleans. He played in a handful of games before being waived and re-signed to the practice squad, where the Steelers nabbed him.
In all, he played five games for the Steelers in the regular season, finishing with eight tackles, including one for loss. He had no sacks, but three quarterback hits and a batted pass. Adams did get a sack during the team’s lone postseason outing, however, against Patrick Mahomes.
Most impressive about Adams is the fact that he has considerable quickness for a player his size, and especially his anticipation at the snap is to be commended. While there is a reason he hasn’t had a steady job in a while, he does have a skill set that should intrigue a confident defensive line coach like Karl Dunbar.
Free Agency Outlook:
It would probably be helpful to start by pointing out, in case anybody didn’t realize, that Adams’ low salary is a reflection of the fact that he only spent a portion of the season on the Steelers’ 53-man roster. I believe he was only with the team for six weeks of the regular season, if memory serves, so he would only get portion of what a veteran-minimum salary for a four-year vested veteran would get if signed to a minimum deal, which of course he was.
It’s hard to imagine the Steelers would not be interested in re-signing Adams on the cheap, and Adams seemed to be genuine in talking about his affection for the organization. At one point, he said that being in Pittsburgh was the first time since he left Auburn that he had any feeling of family since arriving in the NFL.
He has said that he would like to stay in Pittsburgh for as long as he can. Teammates like Cameron Heyward have also said that they hope he can be a Steeler for a long time. Perhaps with a full offseason, they can turn him into a core rotational player who knows what they’re looking for, and maybe even more down the road, once Alualu likely retires after the 2022 season.