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Can former XFL safety Tyree Kinnel become Fitzpatrick’s primary back up?

Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Seattle Dragons v DC Defenders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

We are on part 49 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at the former DC Defender:

Tyre Kinnel

Position: S
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 215 lbs
College: Michigan
Draft: UDFA in 2019 (Bengals)

2019 stats (XFL)

17 Tackles
0 Interceptions
0 Sacks

Contract remaining

Expires in 2021
$610,000 salary cap number (0.30% of total cap)
$0 Dead money
$610,000 Savings if cut

Likelihood of making the roster

Slim but not impossible. Tyree Kinnel has a shot at making this team specifically because the Steelers didn't address this position in the 2020 offseason. Sure, they drafted Antoine Brooks Jr. in the 6th round but that doesn't mean Brooks is a lock to make the team himself. Currently, the Steelers back up safeties, behind Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick, goes as follows:

Jordan Dangerfield
Marcus Allen
Antoine Brooks Jr.
John Battle
Tyree Kinnel

It really feels like the back up jobs at this spot could be won by anyone. Dangerfield and Allen have to be the favorites as the vets on the roster, but as career special teamers the Steelers might go in a different direction.

2020 projection

The Covid-19 pandemic is going to hurt everyone who isn't a veteran on the team. The limited practice time mixed with a reported smaller-than-usual training camp roster won't be good for someone like Kinnel.

Kinnel had his moments in the XFL including a 10 tackle game, but through no fault of his own, likely won't be anything more than a practice squad player in 2020.

Projected stats:

N/A —Cut


The Back up safety spots feels like an open competition from top to bottom. Kinnel will have to really impress to win a spot however, as just about everything bad that could happen to a fringe player happened this offseason. That being said, Kinnel has the potential to be one of the former XFL players on the Steelers current roster to actually make the team.

Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson
Dewayne Hendrix
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy