Moving forward with part 70 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 third year pro:
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 225 lbs
College: North Carolina State
Draft: Fifth round, 165th Overall in 2018
14 Games played
175 Rushing Yards
305 Receiving yards
2 Total Touchdowns
Expires in 2022
$814,516 salary cap number (.4% of total cap)
$64,516 Dead money
$750,000 Savings if cut
Likelihood of making the roster
50/50. The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t typically carry four running backs into the season, however, with how many they have acquired, that number appears to be a certainty. Three names are locks to make the team being James Conner, Benny Snell Jr., and Anthony McFarland Jr. The fourth spot appears like it could go one of three ways. Samuels is the most experienced of his competitors but that might be enough to beat out the explosive Kerrith Whyte Jr. or the newly acquired Wendell Smallwood. I’m leaning towards Samuels being the odd man out and landing on another teams roster by Week 1.
The Steelers could very well trade the running back for a late round pick, but if he gets cut by the Steelers I think Samuels will end up as a backup/rotational back for another team. I could see a number of suitors for the NC State alum, but none stand out more to me than the hometown Carolina Panthers, where Samuels can sit behind Christian McCaffrey.
If he remains on the Steelers roster, I think it’s very possible that Samuels receives the fewest snaps at the spot and could be facing the chopping block in 2021
N/A Cut — For the Steelers
Considering the Steelers probably won't be able to afford the services of James Conner, the future of the Steelers running back position rests on the shoulder of Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland. The coaching staff appears very high on those two guys and it’s easy to envision a shared backfield with the bruising Snell and flashy McFarland. This leaves a guy like Samuels with no real present and no real future with the Steelers. His price tag will be more at the expiration of his current deal, and he just doesn't project well into this current line up. The deck looks stacked against Samuels here in Pittsburgh and it might be time to find him a greener pasture.
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Ulysees Gilbert III
Anthony McFarland Jr.