The 2022 status of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt is still very much up in the air now that the second phase of the team’s offseason program is underway. Because of that, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is continually asked to update the status of Tuitt nearly every time that he makes himself available to the media. On Wednesday, Colbert was a guest on 93.7 The Fan and during his interview, he was predicably asked about Tuitt again.
First, Colbert was asked if he’s sure that Tuitt will be back in 2022.
“You know, I think that we have always given him the space he needs to maneuver through his knee injury,” Colbert said. “Of course he had a personal issue that he was working his way through, and we’ve supported him. We’ve been in communication. It’s all been positive. But again, once you miss a season like that, you have to determine what kind of player will be coming back and that’s what we’re anxious to see. And again, we’re going to support that the whole time.”
As you can tell by Colbert’s response, there’s still no guarantee that Tuitt will be part of the Steelers in 2022. So far, there’s been no sign of Tuitt in any of the offseason program photo galleries on the Steelers official website. If he were in attendance these last few weeks, one would think that we would have had some kind of report of that happening by now. All that being said, Tuitt is not breaking rules by possibly not being in attendance as these phases of the offseason program are voluntary.
So, is there a date the Steelers need know by concerning Tuitt’s 2022 status?
“Not really, not really,” Colbert said in response to a similar question on Wednesday. “Well, I mean when we move into this offseason, you know, you get into the OTAs when the vets start coming in more regularly. So, we’ll see where it goes.”
The Steelers 2022 OTA sessions will get underway on May 24 and while those are also voluntary in nature, one would think that the organization is really hoping that Tuitt shows up for those on the heels of him missing all the 2022 season.
Tuitt, who will turn 29 on May 23, is now essentially in the final year of his contract as the three additional years of his deal are all voidable ones. He is scheduled to earn $9,048,560 in 2022. Should Tuitt decide he no longer wants to play, or should the Steelers deem him worthy of being cut, such a transaction might not happen until after June 1 so that the organization can defer some of the dead money associated with his contract to the 2023 league year.