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: Larry Ogunjobi
Experience: 6 Years
Well, this series evidently slipped my mind for a few days, so let’s get back on track by rounding out the starting lineup on the defensive line. We’ve already talked about Cameron Heyward and Montravius Adams. But will Larry Ogunjobi be back?
What’s one of the bigger questions of the offseason. If they don’t re-sign him, they might have to replace him, either in free agency or the draft, with another starter-capable player. Otherwise, you’re turning the position over to—who exactly? DeMarvin Leal? Not without a challenge, anyway.
Ogunjobi probably never played at full strength in Pittsburgh. He spent most of the calendar year recovering from a foot injury that he suffered in the 2021 playoffs with the Cincinnati Bengals. He missed a lot of practice time in-season as well, often listed with a toe injury, if not a combination of bodily ailments.
Yet he typically showed up pretty well on Sundays, even if I reserve the opinion that they can get more out of him if they do re-sign him. He has explosive potential off the line of scrimmage and flashed the ability to be a penetrator, both in the passing game and in the run game.
He posted at least 5.5 sacks in three of his four seasons leading up to joining Pittsburgh last year, so we know he can get after the passer better than his one and a half sacks from last season indicate. The real question is what his market value will be.
He initially agreed to a three-year, $40.5 million contract with the Chicago Bears last March. They rescinded the offer after failing him on his physical due to his foot injury. The Steelers finally decided to roll the dice and gave him a one-year, $8 million deal after they were suddenly in need of a starter with Stephon Tuitt’s retirement. They’re potentially in the same boat going into 2023. That’s where they were at right guard last year, and they turned that into James Daniels.