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: Steven Sims
Experience: 2 Years
Undrafted out of Kansas and signed by Washington in 2019, Steven Sims played 28 games over the 2019 and 2020 seasons for the team now known as the Commanders. During that time, he caught 61 passes for 575 yards with five touchdowns. He had 10 rushes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 35 kicks for 861 yards and a touchdown, and 30 punts for 186 yards.
He was waived on August 23, then signed by the Buffalo Bills, only to be waived again on August 31, then signed by the Steelers to their practice squad. He would spend the entire 2021 season there, excepting one game for which he was elevated to the 53-man roster. He played five snaps against the Detroit Lions, but was not targeted. The Steelers were without Chase Claypool for that game (as well as JuJu Smith-Schuster, of course).
The only other activity for him was when he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List on Christmas Day, activated back to the practice squad on January 4. The Steelers re-signed him to a Reserve/Future contract on January 19.
With the free agency departures of Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud, the Steelers’ wide receiver room for 2022 is wide open. Diontae Johnson and Claypool are the only significant players returning. Cody White spent of the year on the 53-man roster after Smith-Schuster was injured, but played just 77 offensive snaps.
Along with another veteran wide receiver who spent the year on the practice squad, Anthony Miller, Sims has a legitimate chance to regain his footing in the NFL with the Steelers. If he puts in a good offseason this year, there is clearly a potential spot for him on the 53-man roster, at least as we sit here today, given the lack of depth the team faces at the position.