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: Karl Joseph
Experience: 5 Years
We have now burned through all of the players who spent a significant amount of time on the Steelers’ 53-man roster last year, but there are still a handful of players that I believe remain worth talking about, particularly those who spent a long time on the practice squad, were called up, and were re-signed to Reserve/Future contracts.
Former first-round safety Karl Joseph only falls into the first two of those three categories, as he did not re-sign with the Steelers this offseason. In fact, he has not signed with anybody at the moment. It is not entirely clear why, and by whose decision.
Joseph signed with the Raiders as a free agent last year, but he did not make their 53-man roster, released on August 31. The Steelers signed him to their practice squad on the following day, where he remained throughout the duration of the 2021 season.
That is, excepting two games during which he was called up to the 53-man roster (technically 54- or 55-man roster when standard elevations are used). He dressed for two games, playing 17 snaps on defense and another 14 on special teams, all told. He finished the season with two tackles, and had a pass defensed.
In spite of the fact that the Steelers are very thin at safety right now, Joseph is apparently not part of their plans. It is not known if they offered him a Reserve/Future contract or not. Perhaps he decided against signing such a deal with any team, expecting to get a better offer as a free agent. So far, he hasn’t had any bites, seemingly, with the safety market slow to develop.