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: Taco Charlton
Experience: 5 Years
Taco Charlton at this stage of his career is best known as the edge defender whom the Dallas Cowboys selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft instead of T.J. Watt. As of the 2021 season, he is serving as Watt’s backup, Watt now being the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Charlton was waived heading into his third season in 2019, spending most of that year with the Dolphins. He played with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 for part of that season, but did not make the team in 2021. The Steelers signed him to their practice squad on September 21, after the second week of the regular season.
Following Melvin Ingram’s ‘groin injury’ while he was waiting to be traded, the Steelers elevated Charlton for their following game that week on October 30, making his Pittsburgh debut on Halloween, playing 10 snaps against the Cleveland Browns.
Ingram was traded on November 2, and Charlton was signed to the 53-man roster later that day, where he would spend the remainder of the season, dressing for and playing in every game, starting one game due to injury against the Los Angeles Chargers.
He finished the season playing 11 games for the Steelers across 216 snaps, registering 18 tackles, with half a sack, a pass defensed, and a forced fumble that he was not officially given credit for. All in all, it wasn’t much to speak of, but he should be retained at minimal value for depth, of which they have incredibly little. For now, he is slated to be an unrestricted free agent later this week.