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: OL Jesse Davis
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: Acquired via trade as depth, Jesse Davis played zero offensive snaps throughout the 2022 season for the Steelers even though he was the most experienced reserve offensive lineman. Now 31 years old, he’s unlikely to have any market beyond the minimum.
Jesse Davis started 72 out of 80 games over the course of his career before arriving in Pittsburgh. He started zero games out of the 14 for which he dressed, playing zero snaps on offense, though he had some role on special teams.
The Minnesota Vikings signed him in 2022 as a free agent to a one-year, $4 million contract. They were willing to eat $1.55 million of that just to deal him to Pittsburgh once it became clear that he was not going to work out for their roster.
The Steelers were a bit desperate for depth, however, and so he wound up here. Yet many assumed his experience as a starter would grant him a prime spot in the depth. At least by the middle of the season, surely he could get himself up to speed enough to become the swing tackle.
Well, that never happened. Trent Scott spent the entire year just one snap away from playing behind Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor. Does that say more about Scott or about Davis? Or perhaps about offensive line coach Pat Meyer’s scheme?
Does it matter? And yet there’s no reason to oppose re-signing him. After all, the Steelers are in desperate need of depth, particularly experienced depth, and as I hinted at above, the odds are after a year of not playing he’s not going to have any market. Re-sign him for as cheap as possible and guarantee him nothing.
There’s even the possibility that a full offseason would show him to be a much more resourceful asset. At the least, he could get the hang of the blocking scheme, and if he’s fully versed in what he’ll be asked to do, there’s no reason to think that he shouldn’t at least be worthy of a roster spot. Or would you rather hang onto Kendrick Green?