Labriola Doesn’t Expect Steelers Will Make More Roster Moves Before Training Camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been in a much better salary cap position this year than they have been in quite some time, and that has allowed them to be active in free agency and responsive to developments as needed through the first half of the offseason. That’s not to say that their roster has a feeling of completeness.

But historically, they are not a team that is particularly active between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp. Although this year has already been different on that front—they not only got Minkah Fitzpatrick signed to a long-term extension but they also added one of their biggest free-agent signings in Larry Ogunjobi—we shouldn’t anticipate that to continue, according to Bob Labriola.

At this stage, my guess would be that the Steelers go into training camp with the 90-man roster they have, evaluate some of the individuals earmarked for backup/depth roles and then explore whatever options might be available”, he wrote in a recent Asked and Answered installment on the team’s website.

That was in response to a question about what might be next for the Steelers after the Ogunjobi signing, and whether or not they would address issues on the offensive side of the ball. Labriola suggested that fans were becoming spoiled with all of the moves the team has made this offseason, and warned that adding veteran free agents can be a double-edged sword (he cites DeAngelo Williams versus LeGarrette Blount, but just look at Melvin Ingram last year).

Historically, the Steelers have preferred to take their roster into training camp, give it a week or two, and then start hitting the phones to see about upgrading areas in which they feel they are week. This is why they have been among the most active teams in August when it comes to making trades, including two last year for Joe Schobert and Ahkello Witherspoon.

Accordingly, there are certainly grounds for Labriola’s opinion about the probability the Steelers will stay put when it comes to their roster until they get up to Latrobe. They’ll probably want to see Genard Avery, Tuzar Skipper, and the rest of the outside linebackers in pads first before they start seeking more proven alternatives, for example. And Mataeo Durant and Jaylen Warren will get first crack at running back before bringing in veterans if they don’t look the part.

Either that, or we’re wrong. Omar Khan may have been in the building for decades, but he’s never been general manager before, and he has a new staff that is perhaps looking to prove its worth. Finding a July addition that ends up making the roster and contributing wouldn’t be a bad first impression.

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