Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: DL Stephon Tuitt
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: Just days before the start of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Steelers’ latest update on veteran defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, in terms of him potentially playing football for the team this year, is that there is no update.
While Stephon Tuitt suit up and play for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2022 season? We are no closer to an answer to that question than we have been for months now. In fact, we have been getting the ‘no update’ comment from head coach Mike Tomlin since October or November during the last season.
Tuitt spent all of last year on the Reserve/Injured List after dealing with a knee injury. At the time, it was expected that he would be able to heal in a matter of 3-6 weeks or so and be able to play in a short span of time after that. At the same time, he was navigating the many unforeseen complications of dealing with the grief and frustration of the death of his younger brother, who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver who has to this day yet to be identified.
Tomlin did say that Tuitt is doing well, and for people who care about humans, that is the important part. Whether or not he intended to continue his NFL playing career, unfortunately, we don’t have a definitive answer about that, but there have been indications that the team believes he will play.
I certainly hope that he does intend to play, but I was also hoping that the organization would have a definitive answer to that question in time for the 2022 NFL Draft, and it doesn’t appear that they have that, which is frustrating.
I don’t believe that the Steelers will be approaching the draft with the assumption that Tuitt will be back, though. They won’t pass up drafting a defensive lineman thinking about Tuitt lining up for them instead. That is the only approach that they can take at this point. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ve got yourself a quality rotation for the first time in a long time.