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Who’s Playing Their Last Game as a Steeler?

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Will Sunday’s game vs. the Bengals be the Steelers last game of the 2018-19 season?

As most of you know by now, the Steelers need to win and have the Browns beat the Ravens in order to qualify for the playoffs.

If this doesn’t happen, the teams front office will immediately turn to the 2019 Draft and free agency.

As they do every year, Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney face a number a number of decisions with unrestricted free agents and also with players they may choose to release.

Unrestricted Free Agents: 

  • RB: Le’Veon Bell, Stevan Ridley
  • WR: Justin Hunter, Derrius Heyward-Bey, Eli Rogers
  • TE: Jesse James, Xavier Grimble
  • OL: Matt Feiler, Ramon Foster, B.J. Finney,
  • DL: Daniel McCullers, Tyson Alualu,
  • LB: L.J. Fort, Anthony Chickillo,
  • CB: Coty Sensabaugh
  • P: Jordan Berry

Possible Cap Cuts?

  • OT Marcus Gilbert
  • LB Bud Dupree
  • LB Jon Bostic
  • S Morgan Burnett
  • CB Artie Burns

Who Stays/Who Goes? 

To make this easy, here are the players I’d look to bring back: Eli Rogers, Jesse James, Matt Feiler, B.J. Finney, L.J. Fort, Coty Sensabaugh, Morgan Burnett, Jon Bostic

Regardless if they make the playoffs, aside from on the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers roster and coaching staff is overdue of a major overhaul.

Gilbert has proven to be unreliable and when given the opportunity, Feiler has done a nice filling in. As far as Dupree and Burns, it’s time to cut the cord as both have been given ample time to live up to their first round draft status.

Aside from a handful of defensive players such as Cam Heyward, TJ Watt, Stephon Tuitt, Joe Haden, Javon Hargrave and Terrell Edmunds, I’d consider the rest of the defensive depth expendable and highly replaceable.

This off-season has the potential to be one of the more active and entertaining in quite some time.

NFL

NFL Announces Coaches can Return to Team Facilities

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NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that coaching staffs may return to team facilities Friday, June 5 in a memo issued to teams Thursday morning.

Staying consistent with their message throughout the reopening process, coaches may return only if clubs have “received necessary permission from state and local governments.”

Clubs were informed last week that coaches will count towards the maximum number of employees permitted in facilities, but the total number allowed will increase from 75 to 100 tomorrow as well.

While Goodell has not yet announced when all players will be cleared to return, he did add that the league is still working “with clubs medical staffs to implement a program of COVID-19 testing” prior to players coming back.

Injured and rehabbing players were some of the first who received the green light to return to team facilities, and have been back for a few weeks now.

Club facilities were initially closed by the league back on March 25 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While coaches are likely eager to return to their team facilities, they should make themselves comfortable for the long haul.

Goodell’s memo comes a day after multiple reports that the league informed franchises they must conduct training camp from their practice facilities this August.

This would mean the Steelers will be prepping for the season on the South Side, instead of making a 55th-consecutive trip to St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

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Steelers

Art Rooney II, Steelers Issue Statements on Killing of George Floyd, Protests

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Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II released a statement Wednesday on the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and the ensuing protests seen across the nation.

“Over the last week, we have witnessed the anger and frustration in our city and around the country relating to the killing of George Floyd and the recent deaths of African-American men and women. We have also witnessed the good in so many people who have peacefully expressed their concerns.”

“I am proud to hear the voices of many of our players who have spoken out against racism and injustice and called for unity. As an organization, we will continue to listen to our players, coaches, alumni and leaders in our community and work together to bring awareness and change in the effort to create a more fair and equal community.”

A number of prominent Steelers players also shared statements and comments regarding Floyd’s death and the nationwide protests, including Cam Heyward, Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner, Vince Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.J. Watt.

Defensive end Cam Heyward:

“A friend, a brother, a father, a son, just someone you meet, these are different ways people might know George Floyd. To know that the color of my skin could be at the discretion of someone who is supposed to protect is truly disheartening. I’m praying for the Floyd family.”

“To know a brother, a friend or someone I care about could be gone due to this just hurts. It’s not acceptable. Thank you for the people who do serve the right way and continue to protect our freedoms. I wish all held up his end and cared for all.”

“We all have people we care about and the fact that we can’t believe in everyone who is in the position of power to keep all safe angers me and tears me up. Change must happen. Our children are inheriting a world that is not improving. Life should be precious.”

“I still can’t find my words to make sense of it all. Too many have died, and not enough has changed.”

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:

“The cruelty and injustice must stop, racism must end, and love must find a way to prevail. We are all children of God, equal in his eyes, and must hold one another accountable to fair and just standards.”

Running back James Conner:

“If we keep showing hate and violence, we will continue to have hate and violence. If we keep showing peace and love, we will have peace and love. I’ve retweeted disturbing and negative videos to HOPE they understand, but I will only be posting love from here on out. We know what’s been done and know it’s wrong.

“Make the Twitter timeline full of positivity. Like I said, I’ve been guilty of retweeting negative content, but that’s not it. They want the sickening and shameless videos at 100,000+ retweets to keep us divided. Make unity and togetherness the only content we see.”

Inside linebacker Vince Williams:

“Send me the GoFundMe of businesses that have been destroyed by the riots. I’ve done independent searches, but hopefully this helps me to be more thorough.”

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster:

“Our country is in pain right now, and coming together is the only way to heal each other. No more injustice!”

Outside linebacker T.J. Watt:

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Steelers

JuJu Smith-Schuster Delivers Pizzas to Steelers Fans

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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is bringing some joy to fans during tough times.

Smith-Schuster spent his Tuesday afternoon delivering pizzas for PizzaHut, and even took the time to snap a pic with a young fan, courtesy of JimStamm22 on Twitter.

A fan favorite, Smith-Schuster is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh.

After an explosive sophomore season in 2018, Smith-Schuster battled injuries and inconsistent quarterback play that combined for a lackluster 2019.

With the return of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster appears primed to deliver more than pizzas this upcoming season.

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