Steelers News

Kevin Dotson Sounds Resigned To Possibility He Won’t Be In Pittsburgh Much Longer

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Kevin Dotson has opened the past two seasons as a starter and started all 17 games in 2022. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, however, he seems resigned to the fact that won’t be the case in 2023 following a second consecutive offseason in which the Steelers signed a starting guard in free agency.

After adding James Daniels in 2022, Pittsburgh signed Isaac Seumalo this past March; both now among the highest-paid offensive players on the roster. Dotson is due for a salary increase this year as well, which only complicates things further. You see, not only does he sound resigned to losing his starting job in Pittsburgh, he also seems fully aware he may not be in Pittsburgh come September.

“There’s nothing I could do about it. I can just go as hard as I can go and hope something happens in the future, here or somewhere else”, he told reporters yesterday at the outside of OTAs, via audio of the interview from 93.7 The Fan.

“I don’t have any hard feelings or anything, so it really doesn’t affect me outside of here, and I know if something were to happen I’d be able to go somewhere else”, he added in another part of the interview. “I feel like, if I go somewhere else or if I stay here, I feel like I’ll get my opportunity enough to do something”.

Set to earn $2,743,000 in base salary in 2023 due to the Proven Performance Escalator based on his playing time over the past two seasons, Dotson would be a pricey backup, especially for an interior lineman who has no center experience. And the Steelers already added a pricey backup earlier this offseason in Nate Herbig, who can play more positions.

If he is not a starter in Pittsburgh at that salary and is limited in terms of position flexibility, the Steelers may well decide to move on from him, one way or another. Ideally, they would in that situation trade him and get some draft compensation back in return.

He could start for another team, theoretically, in need of a guard, either on the left side or on the right side, since he has the ability to play at either spot since being drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round in 2020.

With 30 starts in 39 career games, Dotson does have experience. He missed eight games in 2022 due to injury but did not miss a snap last season. Unfortunately, he had a high number of penalties, which he acknowledges the team spoke to him about at the end of last season.

In an offseason in which the Steelers did not sign any of their restricted free agents to tenders and have parted ways with players like Arthur Maulet and Ahkello Witherspoon on relatively modest deals, it would not at all be surprising if later this year they find they want to move on from Dotson’s salary. But how much he’s worth is still yet to be determined and will involve who else steps up among the Steelers’ offensive line reserves this summer.

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