2023 Stock Watch – DL Tyson Alualu – Stock Down

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season is over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason and everything that means. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.

Player: DL Tyson Alualu

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: In attempting to return from a broken ankle suffered early in the 2021 season, longtime veteran defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, unfortunately, didn’t look totally up to the task. It didn’t take long for head coach Mike Tomlin to decide to pull him from the starting lineup. Due to turn 36 in May and without a contract for the 2023 season, many anticipate that this is the end of the road for his career.

A former first-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars all the way back in 2010, even before Cameron Heyward was in the league, Tyson Alualu found his final football home when he signed with the Steelers during the 2017 offseason. He made that clear after flirting with re-signing in Jacksonville in 2021 only to have a change of heart and return to Pittsburgh instead.

Of course, that arrangement didn’t work out well for either party. He suffered a fractured ankle in week two of that season against the Baltimore Ravens and missed the rest of the year. Rehabbing from that and a knee injury through much of the offseason, he also struggled into the early portions of 2022.

After three games, head coach Mike Tomlin decided that he’d seen enough and elected to start Montravius Adams at nose tackle over Alualu.

He would only hit a 20-snap count in a game—exactly 20 snaps—one more time for the rest of the year, playing just 291 in total, of which 104 came in the first three games. He recorded just 13 tackles all season, none for loss (for the first time in his career during a healthy season), splitting half a sack with one batted pass.

It’s an unceremonious way to go if this indeed marks the end of his playing career. He will be 36 years old as of May, and he is not under contract with the Steelers as they turn the page to a younger generation with DeMarvin Leal, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and likely a rookie or two to be taken in April.

The sad reality is that the tape told the real story. Never had we ever seen Alualu on the ground so often, losing the leverage game after having had one of the stoutest anchors we’ve seen in a Pittsburgh jersey in many years.

Even if this proves to be the end, however, he more than deserves the respect of the fanbase, not just for the player that he had been, but perhaps especially for the person he is and will continue to be, a more than worthy ambassador for the organization and for the game itself.

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