2022 Stock Watch – OLB Olaskunkanmi Adeniyi – Stock Purchased

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers are deep into the season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. 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: OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi

Stock Value: Purchased

Reasoning: While not yet officially announced by the team, it has been reported that the Steelers are signing former outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi after the veteran cleared waivers upon release from the Tennessee Titans. He left Pittsburgh as a restricted free agent in 2021.

The quality of the outside linebacker depth this season has left something to be desired, in case you haven’t noticed. Well, how could you not if you have been paying attention at all? T.J. Watt gets hurt and misses seven games and suddenly they go from leading in sacks for half a decade to being thoroughly average, if not worse.

Bringing back Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, who had zero sacks in his three years in Pittsburgh, isn’t exactly going to change that, but you can understand why the team would want to try to do something to address this area of the roster.

A former college free agent, Adeniyi had a stellar rookie preseason and carved out a role on special teams. He logged over 500 snaps for Danny Smith’s units over three years compared to just 215 defensive snaps, 144 of which came in 2020.

The Steelers elected not to offer him a restricted free agent tender in 2021 (you might recall that the cap situation after the Covid-19 revenue shortfall the year before was pretty dire), and so he was free to walk, joining Bud Dupree out of Pittsburgh and into Tennessee.

He did play over 200 defensive snaps for the Titans last year, registering 2.5 sacks in the process, the first and only of his career. But he saw just 69 this year, playing in only three games before getting injured. He was placed on IR in mid-October and only activated earlier this month, released on December 12.

He cleared waivers (all players vested or not must clear waivers after the trade deadline) and now is back in Pittsburgh, or at least that’s what the reports indicate. But he’ll be of more use to Smith than to Teryl Austin, I suspect. Either way, he’s back.

And yes, you can call him Ola.

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