The Steelers 2020 season did not end well, to say the least. In fact, it ended in the worst possible way. But a disappointing conclusion to a season with high expectations and uncertainty surrounding the future of the franchise can cause fans and media to forget about the success of certain players.
Everyone is quick to praise T.J. Watt, who many feel should have been named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, or be amazed by Chase Claypool’s impressive rookie season, but there are other players who maybe deserve some more love for their contributions to the team.
This raises the question – who is the most underrated Steelers player?
Do the Steelers Need to Keep Joe Haden?
Since our story caught the attention of Joe Haden himself, it only now makes sense to ask a simple question – should the Steelers release the 31-year-old corner?
When referring to player cuts around the NFL, League Insider John Clayton said he expects many notable players to be released by their current teams. Clayton proclaimed “it will be a bloodbath around the league” and that could include a couple key veterans being handed their walking papers by the Steelers. One of the big names mentioned by Clayton was Haden.
While the Haden has been productive at times in his 4 years in Pittsburgh, he’s also missed significant time due to injury. But it is worth noting the secondary is not often characterized as a strength for the defense and losing Haden would be a hit to the depth chart.
With money being a major factor for the salary capped Steelers this off-season, should they say goodbye to Haden or bite the bullet and keep the fan favorite?
Should Steelers Sign Zach Banner to be Starter in 2021?
Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault.
He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.
Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.
Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. With Banner expected to be ready for a return next season, should the Steelers sign the 27-year-old with the anticipation that he could be a key piece to bolster the offensive line that was missing during the 2020 season?
Best exit interview ever… Back to work…
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) January 14, 2021
Do you believe in Zach Banner? Comment below with why or why not.
Should the Steelers Keep Mike Hilton or Cam Sutton?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a number of important players that are set to become free agents this offseason. The cap-strapped team will not be able to bring every player they like back, and that means making some tough decisions of who to prioritize.
Both Mike Hilton and Cam Sutton have become key contributors to the Pittsburgh secondary as slot cornerbacks. They both are arguably underrated in their own way.
If the Steelers can only keep one, and that’s likely the case, which cornerback should the Steelers retain between Hilton or Sutton?