2022 Exit Meetings – OL J.C. Hassenauer

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: J.C. Hassenauer

Position: C/G

Experience: 3 Years

It’s hard to call the 2022 season a step back for J.C. Hassenauer because there is nothing that he did wrong. The simple fact of the matter is that he had fewer opportunities than he had in his first two seasons (or accrued seasons, anyway). A good thing for the team, because it means that the starters were healthy, but it also means he didn’t get to play much.

A former college free agent out of Alabama, Hassenauer has been a part of the Steelers organization since 2019, initially on the practice squad but steadily on the 53-man roster for the past three years. He started eight games combined in 2020 and 2021, playing better at center and as he gained more experience.

There was no question throughout the year about him being the top reserve center behind new starter Mason Cole, even though Kendrick Green, who was the starter a year earlier, was still on the roster. Green lost a battle for the starting left guard job during the summer and spent the year a healthy scratch.

Hassenauer is now a restricted free agent, and I believe the Steelers will retain him on an original-round tender, which would pay him a little over $2.6 million. That’s not too high a price to pay for a solid reserve center.

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