2023 Stock Watch – FB Monte Pottebaum – Purchased

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: FB Monte Pottebaum

Stock Value: Purchased

Reasoning: Having failed to re-sign Derek Watt, the Steelers added a new option at fullback following the 2023 NFL Draft, signing Iowa’s Monte Pottebaum and his famous mullet on a rookie free agent contract that was seasoned with a $10,000 signing bonus.

You may or may not have seen elsewhere that the Steelers’ signing of Monte Pottebaum was some sort of groundbreaking, historic move. The very premise of this talking point was flawed from the beginning, resting on a poor understanding of contracts.

The deal Pottebaum signed with the Steelers was thoroughly unremarkable, and the only reason that it ranks high among current fullback contracts is because it was judged in terms of total value. Undrafted free agents sign three-year contracts, and thus reflect three years’ worth of salary, while many fullbacks around the league often operate on one-year deals. Giving an undrafted free agent a $10,000 signing bonus is barely a blip on the radar, broadly speaking.

But that’s not to diminish Pottebaum as a prospect nor his chances of making the team. It just means that there was nothing remarkable about his contract, no matter how badly another author on another part of the internet botched the details, intentionally or otherwise.

The fact of the matter is that the Steelers are going to need, at some point, a big body who can line up in front of a running back and throw a block. They didn’t ask Derek Watt to do that very much in his three years here, assuming that he won’t have any more in Pittsburgh, but the number of snaps demanded of this role in 2023 will inevitably be greater than zero.

Steelers coaches have talked, reasonably, about the possibility of second-year h-back Connor Heyward sliding into that role, but Pottebaum very much has a chance of redirecting the conversation. For starters, he’s an actual fullback. And he’s built like a fullback. 6’1”, 244 pounds. And his college tape looks like that of a fullback.

Of course what he’ll need to look like first and foremost is a special teams ace, because you’re not easily going to make any roster in the NFL today by being just a fullback and nothing else. He’ll have to learn to wear many hats, perhaps even some that hide that glorious mullet of his.

All I’ll say is that he’s going to be fun to watch this summer. Fans will love him. Many already do. I bet Andy Weidl does. And you know Mike Tomlin does. I’m looking forward to learning what nickname Pottebaum ends up earning from him, assuming it’s suitable for public consumption.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!