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Does Stephon Tuitt make the Steelers defense the most talented in the NFL?

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

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Continuing with part 79 of our 90ish-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man (now 80-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 returning defensive end:

Stephon Tuitt

Position: DE
Height: 6’ 6”
Weight: 303 lbs
College: Notre Dame
Draft: 2nd round, 46th overall In 2014


2019 Stats

6 Games played
22 Tackles
3.5 Sacks
6 Tackles for loss
7 QB Hits


Contract remaining

Expires in 2023
$14,940,750 salary cap number (7.44% of total cap)
$5,940,750 Dead money each of the next 3 seasons
$9,000,000 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. Before Stephon Tuitt tore his pectoral muscle in 2019 he was arguably the defense’s best player. He’s been a dominant force since he first donned the black and gold back in 2014. Not only is he not going anywhere, Tuitt will be looking to earn his first Pro Bowl and/or All-Pro honors. The Steelers are better when he is on the field and I have no doubt Tuitt will pick up where he left off in 2019.


2020 projection

If Stephon Tuitt returns to the level of play he was producing in 2019 before his oinjury, then the Steelers defense might become one of those all-time units that gets talked about for generations. They almost drug a nearly offense-less team to the playoff last year, so what could they do with 16 games of Stephon Tuitt in the mix! I expect greatness, and the only thing that will challenge Tuitt’s stats is his teammates beating him to the quarterback for sacks.


Projected stats:

16 Games played
60 Tackles
10 Sacks
16 Tackles for loss
21 QB Hits
4 Passes defended


Summary

The 2020 season projects to be the best statistical season in Stephon Tuitt’s career. He was pacing a double-digit sack season a year ago and I believe he does it if he plays in all 16 games. The challenge facing oppositions offensive coordinators when game planning the Steelers front four of T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Cameron Heyward, and Tuitt will prove to be an interesting one when it comes to figure out who's getting double teams. Three of those names have double-digit sack seasons under their belts, and Stephon Tuitt will probably get his first one this season. These four guys are going to feast on opposing quarterbacks and it’s going to be so much fun watching it happen.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett -Cut
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 -Cut
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 -Cut
Dewayne Hendrix -Cut
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston -Cut
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel -Cut
Christian Kuntz -Cut
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano -Cut
Alexander Myres
Steven Nelson
Spencer Nigh
Chuks Okorafor
James Pierre
Maurkice Pouncey
Kevin Rader
Dax Raymond
Ben Roethlisberger
Mason Rudolph
Jaylen Samuels
Tuzar Skipper
Wendall Smallwood
Juju Smith-Schuster
Benny Snell Jr.
Robert Spillane
Cameron Sutton
Ryan Switzer
Calvin Taylor