Now that the first 15 cuts have been made what have we learned about the remaining issues to be resolved throught the rest of the week and the possible shape of the final 53 man roster for 2012?
The Offensive Line. Kyle Jolly was the only cut made in this area thus far. Would there have been more if David De Castro hadn't been injured? Many have been assuming that the beneficiary of this misfortune is Trai Essex, but it is possible that Essex would have made the team regardless. Some people may not have liked that but that is a different matter altogether. So who else might stick around either on the 53 or Practice Squad who might otherwise been out? Scott? Beachum? Lee? I can feel the disturbance in the Force; how could I consider Beachum. Well, as we've already seen with kickers, as much as we would like to think that these decisions are all about just football, there are business and political considerations as well. Cutting a draft pick can reflect badly on the scouting department and the front office. Beachum may get a little more rope than an UDFA.
Tight End. With the elimination of Jamie McCoy and Justin Peelle does this mean that David Paulson has made the team (speaking of politics)? With Saunders out for the first month and being thin at fullback, then probably so. It is hard to imagine given the offensive configurations that we've already seen that they would go with less than three in this position.
Myron Rolle. As others have already said, though probably the proper football move, the release of Rolle is a disappointment on the human level. The good news is that he will be light years from bagging groceries moving forward, I regret the missed opportunity of the possible contributions that he would have undoubtedly made to Steeler Nation through his presence on the team. The question that remains is that who will be the ultimate winner, Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, Robert Golden, Will Allen or some combination of the three?
Danny Hrapmann. I wondered about the timing of this even though it was pretty clear that Suisham had to play his way off the roster, which he did not do. Again, as others have pointed out, an early cut is often more advantageous to a player's long term interests. The best evidence of this is in the Washington-Baltimore Corridor where both the Ravens (Cundieff) and the Redskins (Rackers) cut kickers today. Finding a job after being cut on Friday will be harder for a lot of players.
Mortty Ivy. This is an injured/waived situation, and given the state of the linebacking corps at the moment it is understandable that the team didn't want to add yet another element of uncertainty into that equation. For Ivy fans this could mean that we haven't seen the last of this player. May it also mean that there is still hope that Adrian Robinson sticks around, even if it's just on the Practice Squad?
Wide Receiver and Defensive Line. Given how loaded the team is with young talent at these positions there was really no hope for these guys. The coming cuts in these areas will likely be painful for many fans. A lot of decent talent going bye bye.
There still remains the question of De Castro's ultimate status for the season; IR or not. If not the team is likely to lose a quality prospect in another position area to make up an extra man on the offensive line.