As everyone else and his dog is doing a final 53.....
This one writes itself following Lefty's injury. I'm not sure of their plans for Lefty but the smart thing to do would be come to an injury settlement with him, release him and stay in touch in case we need him later this season, once he's healed up.
The only question here at all is do we carry 3 or 4. You can make a good argument for 3 but Dwyer's shown some promise and is worth keeping around in a league where RB careers are either short, or you need 2 good guys instead of 1 great one.
Battle is on the bubble but I think Sanders' current injury makes keeping that extra WR a smart thing to do, and though a special teamer's impact will be diminished this year Battle is still a useful guy on punt coverage. Once Sanders is fully healed they could opt to go back to 5 Wideouts and promote someone from the PS in another slot.
The 3rd TE slot is probably the most open, if David Johnson has nailed down the 2nd TE slot I'm not sure that leaves much room for John Gilmore. So I'm going with the young potential in Saunders over the others. Even if he hasn't *really* earned the slot. 3rd TE could still be a slot they see who gets cut from other teams too, but the Steelers rarely seem to do that. Saunders has enough potential I believe he's worth holding onto.
I think the signing of Trai Essex nailed this lot down, at least to start the season. I don't think either Keith Williams or Chris Scott have done enough to make the roster over Ramon Foster. Foster, hasn't been very good in preseason but he has experience and started for us at times last year. That makes him harder to drop than Williams or Scott, one or both of whom should be safe enough on the Practice Squad. I wouldn't however rule out a move after week 1 (when veteran salaries cease to be guaranteed) to bring back one of Starks or Flozell Adams, with Hills seemingly now a Guard I think it would be more likely to be one of those guys coming in for Ramon Foster, I'd go for Flozell if he's willing to backup.
For the talk of Kapinos supplanting Sepulveda I just don't see it. Kapinos is punting well but I think it would take a serious worry over Sepulveda's injury history to go with Kapinos. I like Kapinos but I see Sepulveda's tactical kicking as the clincher for him.
As of right now this lot picks itself. I could make a good case for several of the younger guys replacing Chris Hoke, and Dale Lolley alluded to Hoke's onthebubbleness in his Q&A session too, but I just have a hard time seeing it. Especially with Big Snack getting a bit dinged up in the Falcons game. I think that alone will scare them into keeping Hoke and hoping at least one of the younger guys will stick on the Practice Squad.
This is a tough one. I question the depth beyond our 2 starters at OLB and it could be a reason to see who else gets cut around the league, which would leave Chris Carter vulnerable. It's also tough on Mortty Ivy who's on the outside looking in because of our need to keep an extra CB.
The first 3 are easy, I like what I'm hearing on Ryan Mundy this offseason and Will Allen I would think would win a battle with Cromartie-Smith based on his Special teams play, but with Battle also on my roster, mostly for ST work keeping DC-S over Allen might be a legitimate option.
With the injuries in the Defensive backfield I just don't see how they can keep Cortez Allen over Donovan Warren. At least not initially anyway. I have Arnaz Battle making the team largely because of Sanders' questionable status right now meaning we carry 6 WRs. Once Sanders is proven healthy if I were GM I would look to let Battle go and bring Cortez Allen up from the practice squad. That should be early in the season and perhaps when Allen himself is not fully fit so it's very unlikely a team would pick him up before then. There is still a possibility a veteran could be cut loose, everyone expects it to be Gay, I do not. If one of them goes I think it could be McFadden. Gay gets a lot of stick, much of it unreasonable. He's not a star but he is what he is, a sure tackler who does not give up much in the way of YAC manning the slot. If Lewis or Butler can start outside, Gay would not need to be put into that situation and McFadden could be the odd man out. For me, I wouldn't be averse to having 8 CBs on the roster and losing Battle. We have a lot of niggly injuries at Corner and plenty of question marks. I think it's necessary until we get a clearer picture of what we have there.