2023 Stock Watch – ILB Tae Crowder – Up

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason. 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: ILB Tae Crowder

Stock Value: Up

Reasoning: With the Steelers moving on from three of their top inside linebackers from a year ago with a fourth remaining unsigned and only replacing two of them, veteran Tae Crowder is currently in fine position to make the 53-man roster in 2023.

A lot can and will change between now and the start of the regular season. But at least to this point, the offseason has largely unfolded in the favor of Tae Crowder, the veteran inside linebacker who was a late addition to the team a year ago.

The Steelers allowed both Robert Spillane and Devin Bush to walk in free agency while also releasing Myles Jack. They have also opted, at least up to this point, not to re-sign Marcus Allen, a four-year veteran who had become a core special-teams player.

While the front office did add two starter-capable players at the position in Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts via outside free agency, the only other player returning from last year’s 53-man roster at inside linebacker is Mark Robinson, who still has a lot to prove.

If the regular season were to begin today, Holcomb and Roberts would be starting with Crowder and Robinson backing them up. There’s a fair chance that the Steelers will add another inside linebacker in the draft, perhaps even early, but it is a position at which they often carry heavy numbers due to special-teams contributions.

A former Mr. Irrelevant as the final pick of the seventh round by the New York Giants in 2020, Crowder has nearly 2000 defensive snaps under his belt over the past three seasons. He also has nearly another 300 snaps on special teams.

Indeed, he logged a career-high 160 snaps on special teams in 2022 for the Giants even though he was only on the 53-man roster for 13 games after falling out of the starting lineup. He was waived and reverted to the practice squad with the Steelers signing him on December 27.

He did not play a down for them, but he remains under contract and at least for the moment appears to be a viable candidate to secure a spot on the 53-man roster in August. His contributions on special teams will be even more important than his defensive resume in that respect.

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