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Steelers Release OLB Anthony Chickillo, First of Several Cap-Related Moves

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have released linebacker Anthony Chickillo, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN on Monday.

Chickillo, 27, was set to earn just over $6 million in 2020 in the final season of a two-year contact. Instead, the Steelers will accept just over $1 million in dead cap charges to realize $5 million of savings by releasing the veteran linebacker.

A sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 2015 out of Miami, Chickillo became a reliable special teams contributor and backup in his five years with the Steelers. He played in 65 career games, making nine starts.

He had not started a game since 2017. In 2019, he played in just 11 games while missing time due to an off-the-field domestic incident with his then-girlfriend at Nemacolin Woodlands resort during the Steelers’ off week.

In his career, he has 97 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Last season, he had 19 tackles, one-half sack and one quarterback hit.

Even with the move to release Chickillo, the Steelers will still need to make more room in order to accommodate the franchise tag or signing of fellow outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who the team tagged earlier in the day on Monday.

The Steelers entered the day on Monday already over the salary cap without Dupree and his nearly $16 million cap hit will only partially be reduced by Chickillo’s release.

On the Steelers depth chart, third-year outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi will become the top backup at that spot, replacing Chickillo, while 2019 undrafted free agent and training camp fan favorite Tuzar Skipper will enter the offseason on the second team.

Steelers

Terrell Edmunds Explains New Nickname

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Terrell Edmunds informs the media, including Mike Asti and Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, about his new nickname. Call him “Old Fashioned” from now on. He also expresses how feels about the current state of the Steelers, and that’s obviously includes being happy about the team’s record but also understanding the need to improve.

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Steelers Week 10 Game vs. Bengals Flexed to 4:25 p.m. National Broadcast

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The Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10 has been flexed into a national television broadcast slot.

The Steelers and Bengals will now kick off at Heinz Field on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 4:25 p.m. The game had originally been scheduled to kick at 1 p.m. It will be broadcast nationally on FOX. All of that weekend’s early games will be broadcast on FOX, as CBS has coverage of The Masters, which was rescheduled from this summer.

The game will be Pittsburgh’s first matchup against 2020 NFL Draft No. 1 pick, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Steelers are also playing a 4:25 p.m., nationally broadcast game in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. That game will be televised by CBS.

That will be the second time this season the Steelers will be placed in a nation-wide television slot. The team opened the season playing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football against the New York Giants.

The Steelers’ Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans was protected by CBS in a 1 p.m. time slot, but was broadcast nearly nationwide, with CBS only showing two other 1 p.m. games.

The Steelers will play on national television at least three more times this season: against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Nov. 26, on Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 13 and at the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 21.

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What Does Being NFL’s Last Unbeaten Team Portend for Steelers?

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The Steelers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL after beating the formerly unbeaten Tennessee Titans on Sunday while the Seattle Seahawks lost on Sunday night, leaving the Steelers as the only 6-0 team in the nation.

What does that mean for them in the long term? Not as much as you might think.

In the last 20 years, one of the last undefeated teams didn’t even make the playoffs three times: 2002 4-0 San Diego Chargers, 2014 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2016 5-0 Minnesota Vikings. Ten other times, one of the last undefeated teams (some years, there are more than one), lost in the first or second round of the NFL playoffs.

Just once since 2000 has the last undefeated team won the Super Bowl, in 2006 when the Indianapolis Colts started 9-0 on the way to winning Super Bowl XLI.

In the first three decades of the league’s modern era, that was significantly different. The last undefeated team won six Super Bowls in the 1990s, two in the 1980s and three in the 1970s, including the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished a perfect 17-0, the only team in NFL history to do so.

More recently, being the last undefeated team has resulted in a bunch of Super Bowl losses, including the last time the Steelers were the league’s last unbeaten team. 

The 2001 St. Louis Rams, 2002 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Eagles, 2007 New England Patriots, 2009 Colts, 2010 Steelers, 2015 Carolina Panthers, 2018 Los Angeles Rams and the 2019 San Francisco 49ers all made it to the championship game after being the last undefeated team before losing in the end.

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