Steelers 2023 Post-Draft To-Do List, Schedule Prior To Regular Season Start

The 2023 NFL Draft wrapped up a week ago and that means two very important parts of the offseason are now behind us. With the Pittsburgh Steelers now readying themselves for the start of their annual rookie minicamp, here’s a thorough rundown of what should be expected from the team in the coming weeks and months leading up to the start of the 2023 regular season.

Fill Out The 90-Man Roster – Currently, the Steelers offseason roster sits at 87 players ahead of the team’s rookie minicamp getting underway. The team, however, has several minicamp invites coming to Pittsburgh and that list of players includes two that played in the XFL this season. It’s academic at this point, but the team should exit their minicamp by announcing a few more signings and thus have a full 90-man roster come OTAs. Don’t be surprised if those two XFL player invitees wind up being signed as well.

Begin Signing The Draft Picks – As of right now, none of the Steelers seven draft picks are under contract but that should change by the time exits their annual rookie minicamp. It’s probably a good bet that at least four of those draft picks will be signed by the time next weekend’s practices culminate and possibly even more. There’s not much to haggle about when it comes to these rookie deals and especially when it comes to the Steelers final four selections.

Waiver Wire Watch – Every year once the annual NFL Draft is over with, several teams around the league waive players currently under contract. We’ve already started to see this process underway, and it will likely continue for the next week or so. The Steelers could still use a few upgrades at various positions on their roster such as an experienced center and outside linebacker, just to name a few. It’s not a foregone conclusion that the Steelers will add such a veteran or three to their offseason roster from forthcoming waivings around the league, but such additions are plausible just the same.

OTA Time – The Steelers will have three sets of OTA practices this offseason with the first of those getting underway on Tuesday, May 23. The first of the three sets include three practices. The third and final set includes four with the final one being on Thursday, June 8. One of those 10 total OTA sessions might be used as a team-building session away from the friendly confines of UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. No live contact is permitted during these sessions, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed. By the end of those sessions, the team should have nearly all their draft picks under contract with perhaps only their first-round selection, tackle Broderick Jones, as the lone unsigned member of the class.

Mandatory Minicamp – The Steelers annual mandatory minicamp will get underway this year on Tuesday, June 13. That will be a set of three practices in Pittsburgh. The Steelers forthcoming training camp roster of 90 players should be about set at that point as the team gets ready to report to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.

Hone In On Any Contract Extensions – Once the Steelers mandatory minicamp has been completed, the team will then have roughly five weeks of downtime before they report for training camp in late July. If any planned contract extensions haven’t been signed, sealed, and delivered coming out of mandatory minicamp, we could see negotiations start to heat up at this point of the summer. Last year, Steelers general manager Omar Khan was able to get an extension completed with safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in the middle of June.

However, the team wasn’t able to get wide receiver Diontae Johnson or kicker Chris Boswell signed to contract extensions until after training camp was underway. This offseason, the Steelers have two likely contract extension candidates in outside linebacker Alex Highsmith and quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Highsmith, however, is a lot more likely to sign an extension than Trubisky is. A Highsmith extension is likely to be a lot more expensive than one for Trubisky as well. It certainly will be interesting to see if Khan can at least get Highsmith signed to a contract extension by the start of training camp.

Training Camp – The Steelers have yet to announce their 2023 training camp schedule yet, but odds are good that the reporting day might end up being Tuesday, July 27. At the very least, sometime during that week. The first course of action for the Steelers upon arriving at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe will be for them to establish an Active PUP list and an Active NFI list, if indeed any players need to be placed on either. The hope is, of course, that such transactions won’t be needed this year. After the initial annual conditioning session takes place on reporting day, the team will likely have their first official training camp practice the following day. The first padded practice won’t take place until several days into training camp.

Preseason Games – The Steelers should have three preseason games in 2023 and it’s a good bet that only one of them will be played at home and thus at Acrisure Stadium. We should find out the Steelers 2023 preseason schedule next week as the regular season schedule is expected to be released on May 11.

Finish Up Needed Contract Restructures – It’s a good bet that the Steelers will need to at least restructure the contract of outside linebacker T.J. Watt at some point during the summer. This will likely be needed to free up additional salary cap space for the start of the 2023 regular season. While a Watt contract restructuring can be executed at any time moving forward, it might not ultimately happen until after the preseason has concluded, just be on the safe side when it comes to possible injury occurring. The hope is that Watt winds up being the only player the Steelers need to restructure the remainder of the offseason.

53-Man Roster & Practice Squad Setting – The NFL is returning to the days of one huge roster cutdown, approving an August 29 deadline for teams to trim rosters from 90 players to 53 active in total. This will make for a very busy day around the NFL. After initial rosters are set, teams will then go about setting their 16-man practice squads and shuttling any player to their Reserve/Injured and Reserve/PUP list that need to go there. The Steelers process of setting their Week 1 53-man roster might also include the claiming or signing of other players let go by other teams. Additionally, the Steelers have a history of acquiring players in the past via trades right before the start of their regular season.

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