The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted before they even reached the postseason, which unfortunately marks the sixth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game—tying their longest drought of the Super Bowl era. Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
The Steelers did arguably perform at or above expectations this year by going 9-8 and nearly making the postseason at all, a reflection of just how much talent they lost during the offseason, from Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Haden to most of their wide receiver room, not to mention Stephon Tuitt’s decision to retire.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between head coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2022 season.
Player: Levi Wallace
Experience: 5 Years
The Steelers opted to move on from veteran cornerback Joe Haden in 2022 after five seasons. That was partly because they liked what they saw out of Ahkello Witherspoon at the end of the 2021 season. They ended up re-signing him to a two-year, $8 million contract.
And they signed Levi Wallace from the Buffalo Bills as an unrestricted free agent to an identical contract. Witherspoon won the starting job opposite Cameron Sutton in training camp, aided by Wallace dealing with an injury, but you know how the season worked out if you’re reading this.
After struggling significantly in the first few games, Witherspoon went down with an injury, causing him to miss several games. That opened the door for Wallace to play more consistently after giving up playing time to Arthur Maulet in the slot.
Witherspoon returned to the lineup for one more game only to get roasted by A.J. Brown repeatedly against the Philadelphia Eagles. Wallace started the rest of the year. And he had a strong second half of the season, overall.
In all, he started nine of 15 games, logging 709 snaps, although his 76% snap share was actually the lowest of his entire career. He recorded 48 tackles and intercepted four passes, doubling his previous career high, with 13 total passes defended.
As of now, he would be penciled in as a starter even if the Steelers re-sign Sutton, who is an unrestricted free agent. Many expect, or at least hope, that they will address the cornerback position this offseason, however. I don’t envision them attempting to sign somebody on the outside to start, but they could draft a cornerback as early as the first round.