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 Daniel Archibong
Stock Value: Sold
Reasoning: Archibong was placed on the Reserved/Retired list Monday afternoon.
An obvious stock selling here. Archibong has retired after spending a year in the league. An undrafted free agent out of Temple, he was signed by the Chicago Bears after the 2021 NFL Draft. He landed with Pittsburgh when injuries struck their defensive line and wound up getting a helmet in a pair of games, highlighting the number of injuries that unit took.
He played eight snaps in a primetime matchup against Los Angeles, recording a pair of tackles. He logged five defensive snaps the following week, a brutal blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He wouldn’t appear in another game the rest of the season but signed a futures deal in the offseason.
Archibong appeared to see the writing on the wall. Pittsburgh beefed up its defensive line with DeMarvin Leal and Larry Ogunjobi, not to mention re-signing Montravius Adams and getting Tyson Alualu back healthy. His odds of making the 53-man roster out of camp were roughly zero barring more injuries, and even a practice squad spot would’ve been tough to come by with more established players like Henry Mondeaux on the roster.
His decision likely centered around the realization he would put his body through a tough summer, the heat, the physicality, and potential injury, only to be released during cutdowns and try to latch on somewhere else. Maybe he’d land on a practice squad, Pittsburgh or elsewhere. But it was unlikely his career would turn into anything more than journeyman.
Archibong has done what he set out to do. He got on a roster, earned a helmet, and played in an NFL game. Two of them, in fact. Those are stories he can tell his kids one day. I rushed Justin Herbert on national television. It’s a far better career than most who play this game.
Pittsburgh should fill his spot before training camp. Perhaps they add another defensive lineman. If they do, that man will have an equally tough path to the roster.