2022 Stock Watch – DL Stephon Tuitt – Stock Up

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: Up

Reasoning: In what was the closest thing that we have gotten to confirmation thus far, Stephon Tuitt’s teammates spoke of him yesterday sounding as though they have a very real expectation that he is going to be there with them this year.

Outside of the mysteries of the quarterback position, the will-he-or-won’t he with Stephon Tuitt has been the biggest question mark for the Steelers this offseason. One of their most talented players, the veteran defensive lineman missed the entirety of the 2021 season, beginning the year on the Reserve/Injured List with a knee injury.

Tuitt’s brother was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver who, to this day, has gotten away with manslaughter without even being found or identified. His grief and that of his family obviously had an influence on his availability throughout this past year.

While he did not show up to the first voluntary OTA session yesterday, though, teammates like Cameron Heyward sure sounded like they felt it was only a matter of time before he actually showed up—and unlike a situation like Le’Veon Bell on the franchise tag in 2018, they’re actually in regular communication.

Heyward told reporters that Tuitt is currently in Indianapolis, where he lives, but that he is confident his teammate will play this year. Tuitt had his best season in 2020, recording 11 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. His absence was very much felt in more ways than one last year.

While the Steelers have continued to address the defensive line, drafting DeMarvin Leal in the third round this year, and having uncovered Montravius Adams last season from the Saints’ practice squad, Tuitt has difference-making talent that can’t be replicated by anybody who isn’t equally as gifted both in terms of technique and physique.

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