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 Doug Costin
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: The former undrafted free agent was signed to a one-year contract yesterday to join the 90-man roster, filling a hole left by the retirement of Daniel Archibong. Costin spent much of the past two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but most recently played for the Birmingham Stallions in the USFL.
Overall, no team in the NFL has been more active in scouting and signing veteran players from the ‘minor’ professional American football leagues that have arisen in recent years—first the AAF in 2019, then the XFL in 2020, and now the USFL in 2022.
They signed their first USFL player yesterday, agreeing to terms with defensive lineman Doug Costin, who fills the roster spot that was left vacant after Daniel Archibong, also a defensive lineman who spent most of last season on the practice squad, retired.
Costin went undrafted out of Miami of Ohio in 2020, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, with whom he spent the better part of the past two seasons, recording 33 tackles. He started nine of 12 games in 2020 as a rookie, playing 455 snaps, but played just 15 snaps in one game in 2021.
He had a brief stint—very brief—with the Cincinnati Bengals, signing to their practice squad on January 18 while they were in their Super Bowl run, and was let go just days later on January 25. He signed with the USFL and was taken by the Birmingham Stallions on May 20, 2022, for whom he recorded nine total tackles and shared half credit on a sack.
In other words, he wasn’t exactly a star in the upstart league, nor has he been at any point in his football journey, whether in college or in the NFL. But he is now back on an NFL roster, even if he happens to be on a team that is quite deep at his position. He does have meaningful NFL experience, which will serve him well as he attempts to hop on the proverbial moving train, signing just a week ahead of training camp getting underway.