Buy Or Sell: Montravius Adams Will Not Make 53-Man Roster

With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to begin reloading, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade.

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense. Both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: Montravius Adams will not make the 53-man roster.

Explanation: The Steelers have been addressing the trenches this offseason in a significant way, seemingly seeking players who better fit how they want to run things. In addition to the low-budget signings of Breiden Fehoko and Armon Watts, they used a second-round draft pick on Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton, who should step into some role, whether starting or otherwise, right away.


Let’s just break down what we already have to work with. Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi are your starting ends. DeMarvin Leal is the principle backup, and you can have Isaiahh Loudermilk or perhaps Armon Watts behind him. Breiden Fehoko really feels like a guy the Steelers singled out as someone they want on this roster as a run-stuffer. And then there’s rookie Keeanu Benton.

That’s six linemen right there, which is their standard number, or seven if you keep both Watts and Loudermilk. And I didn’t mention Montravius Adams yet. And this is a year where they will want to go heavy on defensive backs. They also may have an extra body at tight end.

Adams is due a base salary of $2.5 million this year, so the Steelers could save a bit of cap space if he were not to make the team, another consideration. And would he even be picked up if released? It’s possible he could wind up on the practice squad.


Adams has been the team’s primary nose tackle for the better part of the past two seasons. The defense improved when they brought him in during the 2021 season, and it was better overall in 2022. While he’s no magic elixir, he is a more complete player than either Fehoko or Watts in terms of his ability to contribute both as a run-stopper and as a pass-rusher.

Carrying seven defensive linemen seems increasingly to be becoming the norm for the Steelers over the past two years, as well. The drafting of Benton complicates his future, but Adams is still one of the six or seven best linemen this team has, and they have no need for the relatively paltry cap savings, especially since they should get even more from releasing Ahkello Witherspoon, a much more likely move.

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