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 Chris Wormley
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: The addition of Larry Ogunjobi will potentially provide Chris Wormley with competition for a starting role this year in place of Stephon Tuitt, or at least significantly cut into his playing time (which in itself is not altogether a bad thing).
The long and short of the signing of Larry Ogunjobi as it pertains to Chris Wormley is that it means he won’t be spending as much time on the field for the Steelers this year as he might otherwise have. Exactly what that ends up looking like is perhaps yet to be determined.
Because the Ogunjobi pickup happened after minicamp was over and in the midst of the dead period before training camp, the Steelers have not yet publicly commented on the signing, so we do not have it on record whether or not he was brought in to be a full-time starter.
Considering the fact that they gave him a contract worth up to $8 million, however, that would seem to be a pretty strong indication that he at the very least will be in the mix to be one of the top two or three defensive linemen on this team.
As you might gather, if that is indeed, the case, that’s going to mean Wormley will be spending more time taking a seat, after playing a career-high 729 snaps for the Steelers last season across 15 games. He would have been over 800 easily had he not gotten injured.
But the Ogunjobi move was prompted by Tuitt’s retirement, and we’re talking about a starter here. He previously agreed to terms on a contract with the Bears worth over $13 million per season until a failed physical torpedoed the deal. This isn’t even like picking up Melvin Ingram on the back end of his career for a bargain last year.
Ogunjobi just turned 28 years old and is only going into his sixth season. He is coming off the best year of his career with the Bengals, and has about double the amount of playing experience that Wormley has in his career even though both were 2017 third-round draft picks by AFC North teams.