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2022 South Side Questions: Who Are Most Likely ‘Surprise’ Cut Candidates?

The Steelers are already out of training camp and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the shift from Saint Vincent College for training camp back to Pittsburgh signals the approaching arrival of the regular season.

The team had a good few weeks of work up in Latrobe, but there are still unsettled questions that need answering. There are a few position battles yet to be determined, whether one considers the quarterback job up for grabs, or even remotely in the mix.

We’ve got yet another new offensive line with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is in at inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can return to form after last year’s dismal display.

There’s still so much going on, and even coming out of training camp, we’ll only uncover more questions as we go along. We’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Who are the most likely candidates to be ‘surprise’ roster cuts today?

As is par for the course, a few cuts were already leaked yesterday before they were made official, but the Steelers still have plenty of moves left to make. A lot of playbooks will be turned in before the end of the day.

The question of the day is, will any of them surprise us? And insofar as we can be surprised by what we can guess at, who are the most likely players who could be ‘surprise’ roster cuts before the day is through?

A quick aside, it is important to recall the Reserve/Injured List return rules, which require that a player be on the initial 53-man roster in order to be eligible to return. That means a player that you intend to be on the roster otherwise has to be cut and then hopefully re-signed once you move the return-eligible player to IR.

Going position by position, for me, Miles Boykin would be a surprise cut for me, over Steven Sims and Tyler Vaughns, unless the team only keeps five wide receivers. Boykin would be subject to waivers, so is not likely to be a swing-back candidate, but at the same time, he is due $2.54 million due to the Proven Performance Escalator, and a team may not want to claim him for that. And then perhaps the team could re-sign him for less.

Along the offensive line, you can put Kendrick Green’s name out there. Even though a lot of people actually want him to be cut, I think he fits this category of a potential surprise cut. On the other side of the ball, you have so many defensive linemen that a surprise wouldn’t be a surprise, but if Tyson Alualu or Chris Wormley were to go, that would certainly be a surprise. I personally would not be surprised by Isaiahh Loudermilk, but others would. The health status of Montravius Adams complicates this.

I think Hamilcar Rashed Jr. has reached the ‘surprise’ candidate status at this point, which says a lot about the state of the outside linebacker depth. Obviously a position the team will explore the options for.

I can’t see any players in the secondary who can be realistically cut whose release might be a surprise. Maybe James Pierre. That’s the best I can do. And that’s not much.

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