Though the core of the Pittsburgh Steelers remains the same and all the players you have jerseys for are back this fall, GM Omar Khan has churned a good chunk of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster, spitting out the old and bringing in the new. A lot of new.
Twenty-seven players who logged snaps for Pittsburgh last season aren’t on the roster anymore. And there’s some heavy hitters, too. CB Cam Sutton and his 993 total snaps; the entire ILB corps of Myles Jack, Devin Bush, and Robert Spillane, who combined for nearly 2200 snaps; and CB Arthur Maulet, the team’s starting nickel corner with nearly 700 combined defensive and special teams snaps last season.
Five others may lose their starting job, significant playing time, or get released: OT Dan Moore Jr., OG Kevin Dotson, TE Zach Gentry, NT Montravius Adams, and DE Isaiahh Loudermilk.
By the time the 2023 Week One roster is set, there could legitimately be 25 new faces on the 53-man roster. Of course, roster turnover happens every year and is prevalent in this modern free agency era. It’s not like Pittsburgh ran it back every season under Kevin Colbert. Draft classes, retirements, and a busier-than-people remember 2022 free agency shows there was always roster turnover.
But when a GM gets his first full offseason controlling the team, changes happen. And that’s what Khan has done. The big names are all still here. This isn’t a rebuild, but the bottom half of the roster has been churned. Good, it needed it. This is still a team that finished 9-8 last year, missed the playoffs and at the bye week looked like one of the worst squads in football.
Khan has chased every avenue to improve the team. There’s straight signings. There’s been trades. There’s been waiver claims. There’s been draft picks. There’s been tryout guys. There’s been XFL adds. And who knows what else might come later this summer. Historically, there will be at least one player part of the Week One group against San Francisco who currently isn’t on the team today.
At a baseline level, roster churn isn’t good or bad. It’s just change and often, sweeping change offers a mix of both. Some will be for the better, some won’t work out, time will tell what falls into each bucket. Omar Khan won’t bat 1.000; he won’t strike out every time either.
But it’s a change Steelers fans aren’t used to. Under Kevin Colbert, there were no big shifts because there was no change in management. And since Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007, the decision-makers have remained the same. With Khan and Andy Weidl not taking over until just about this time a year ago, there wasn’t the opportunity to overhaul things. Khan was largely playing the hand he was dealt. This year, he’s the one at the head of the poker table, dealing the cards.
Let the chips fall where they may.