The Steelers, just like all the other NFL teams, must cut five players on Tuesday in order to dwindle the roster from 90 players to 85 players. It is never an easy decision for any team to make the cuts, but it is a way to shrink down the herd to get towards the final 53-man roster. So, who could potentially be on the chopping block in Pittsburgh?
Nick Farabaugh and Alan Saunders give their predictions on the five potential players who could be among the releases on Tuesday.
Before getting to the potential five players, it should be noted that Karl Joseph could end up on the injured reserve, thus clearing a roster spot. Joseph suffered a potentially significant foot injury in Saturday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. If that is a potential move, then only four players would have to be released. But if Joseph is placed on IR now, he would have to remain there for the rest of the season. If they want to reactivate him at some point, they need to get down to 53 players, then add to him to the IR.
The same could be said about wide receivers Anthony Miller and Calvin Austin III, though the severity of their injuries is currently unknown.
C/G Nate Gilliam
Gilliam has had his share of struggles during training camp. That has included a number of botched snaps while he has worked at center. In one-on-ones, GIlliam has been unspectacular at best and lost most of the reps in which he has participated. It has not been the best training camp for the Wake Forest product, and as a result, he could easily find himself on the outside looking in from the roster. The other player in consideration here would be Chris Owens, but Owens is more versatile and has flat-out looked better than Gilliam.
DL Donovan Jeter
It isn’t so much that we’ve seen Jeter be bad that we’ve barely seen him. With all three starters practicing together in a team period for the first time on Tuesday, the Steelers defensive line is now even deeper than it’s been, so it’s hard to imagine Jeter forcing his way into a role at this point. It seems like a waste to take on a local kid and never give hime a shot, but that’s what the Steelers have done.
OT Jordan Tucker
Another Steelers undrafted free agent, Jordan Tucker has struggled with power rushers all of training camp. That has led to multiple times where Tucker has ended up on his back. In most one-on-ones, Tucker has lost swiftly. There are other potential tackles to consider here, like Jake Dixon, but every other tackle on the roster has showcased more versatility and proven themselves with some highs. Those highs have simply not come from Tucker yet. That is why he could find himself in this position.
WR Tyler Snead
Snead has done nothing but impress since joining the Steelers as a rookie camp tryout. The problem is, the rest of the wide receivers have been just as impressive. Snead doesn’t bring much to the table that Gunner Olszewski and Steven Sims can’t provide, and it’s unlikely that both of those players are able to earn 53-man roster spots. Newly acquired Christian Blake is another option for an early wide receiver cut, but his size makes him worth a longer look compared to the other fringe wideouts.
OLB Ron’Dell Carter
Carter just got here last week, but the Steelers have acquired two more outside linebackers since singing the former Cowboys edge rusher, Genard Avery has returned to practice, and they probably don’t need seven outside backers goin forward. Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and James Vaughters have shown more in their brief stints.
The Steelers and all other NFL teams will cut down from 90 players to 85 on Tuesday, then from 85 to 80 next Tuesday and 80 to 53 the following week.