The Pittsburgh Steelers were back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted before they even reached the postseason. That unfortunately marked 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 found themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so did we.
The Steelers arguably performed at or above expectations in 2022 by going 9-8 and nearly making the postseason, 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 retirement.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between 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: Jesse Davis
Experience: 6 Years
Davis signed with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency in 2022 on a one-year deal worth $4 million. They ended up paying him over $1.5 million of that with the Steelers fielding the rest when he was acquired for a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick.
Given that he played zero offensive snaps, I’m inclined to assume that Davis did not trigger whatever that condition might have been. He acted as the Steelers’ eighth offensive lineman for the year, behind Trent Scott as the swing tackle and J.C. Hassenauer as the top interior reserve.
This is in spite of the fact that Davis has extensive starting experience in the NFL at both tackle and guard. He started 72 out of 80 games during five seasons with the Miami Dolphins before signing with the Vikings and then being traded to Pittsburgh.
Of course we could be having a different discussion with Davis had the Steelers not been fortunate on the health front along the offensive line. They were lucky to have not been in need of his services, but you don’t want to be caught without an option.
Given the fact that he is coming off a year in which he did not play at all, it’s unlikely that he will find much of a market in open free agency. Even though Davis only played on special teams, the Steelers should look to bring him back on a cheap deal and allow him to compete for a roster spot.
He would have the benefit of a full offseason with the Steelers, notable given how players acknowledged the learning curve they experienced in offensive line coach Pat Meyer’s system. Davis joined the team on August 30, so everything he was learning was on the fly.