2023 Stock Watch – DL Montravius Adams – 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 Montravius Adams

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: The Steelers using a second-round draft pick on Keeanu Benton makes veteran Montravius Adams more expendable, in conjunction with the prior signings of Breiden Fehoko and Armon Watts. His $2.5 million base salary may also help to throw his roster spot in jeopardy.

Montravius Adams has spent the past year and a half in a Steelers uniform and has worked mostly in the starting lineup since then. Originally picked up off the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad in the middle of the 2021 season, he earned himself a two-year, $5 million contract for what he showed in the final five games of that year.

Still, he entered the 2022 season backing up Tyson Alualu, a role that only changed because Alualu’s health would no longer allow him to play at the same level he managed prior to his ankle fracture suffered early in 2021—one of the dominos that led to Adams being brought in in the first place.

But the Steelers have been adding to the trenches this offseason, and one can’t help but wonder if they’ve added one too many for Adams’ sake. The biggest move, of course, was the drafting of Keeanu Benton in the second round last month.

Before that, however, they had already signed two interior defensive linemen via free agents, albeit on the cheap. They identified Breiden Fehoko and Armon Watts as two players who could fit what they were looking to do, with the former being more of a plugger against the run, the latter offering more versatility as a penetrator against the pass.

The fact that Adams is due to earn $2.5 million in base salary for 2023 doesn’t help his roster chances, but I’m sure he will be brought into training camp and be given every opportunity to retain his job. After all, he’s not a bad player, and they don’t necessarily need that cap savings.

But the positional numbers can be difficult to manage, and if Benton or Fehoko shows that they can be the starting nose tackle, that opens the door for the Steelers to move on from Adams. If they don’t, however, then they don’t have much choice but to rely on him.

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