One man's trash is another man's treasure. Maybe trash and treasure are too strong a words. Let's put it this way, frugal individuals are always on the lookout for good deals. My wife's immediate family are a perfect example of this mindset.
They absolutely love going to flea markets and yard sales. They can spend a beautiful summer evening driving around, perusing over all the items available to quibble and barter over. That is definitely not my preferred way to spend a beautiful afternoon, although I have found sports memorabilia and firearms over the years that have peaked my interest.
Listening to our family members discussing all the bargains they discovered over the weekend, while I was paying closer attention to the Steelers cut down day decisions, got me to thinking. Cut down day in the NFL is similar to a giant yard sale, and the Steelers are definitely frugal. The Steelers are wise stewards of their investment capitol.
Just because a player fails to make the final roster out of camp doesn't mean they are not a NFL caliber player. There are a multitude of reasons why a player fails to make a roster. Scheme fit, positional need, and salary cap concerns to name a few. Plenty of players capable of providing solid depth to a contending team hit the open market over the weekend, many at no fault of their own. Sometimes it just comes down to a numbers game.
Ryan Switzer was politely shown the door due partly to the Steelers abundance of talented young receivers, and partly due to a cheaper, more versatile alternative being added to the competition at camp in Raymond 'Ray-Ray' McCloud lll. McCloud appears to be a more explosive receiver, punt returner, and even has experience as a gunner on the punt coverage unit. McCloud was a deal that the Steelers, a team with championship aspirations, just couldn't pass up.
Daniel McCullers found the sweet spot on the Steelers roster, and stayed tucked away quietly for six seasons. He would utilize his enormous girth to clog up running lanes when ever called upon, and then retreat to the sidelines to offer shade to his always grateful teammates. However, being a good teammate and effective windblock will only get you so far. Along comes a younger, cheaper, and more athletic challenger and suddenly your dream job comes to an end. It was fun while it lasted.
Not every storyline emerging from roster cuts are negative obviously. The NFL universe smiled on the Steelers this weekend as they bartered the happy homecomings of two former Steelers players, QB Joshua Dobbs and S Sean Davis. Both returns were highly unlikely and unexpected, but each fills a particular need on the roster.
I have missed Dobbs' presence on the depth chart, if for nothing else than the opportunity to brag that the Steelers had a real life rocket scientist playing for the team. Dobbs is instantly the most athletic quarterback on the roster, and I have had visions of the myriad of trick plays where the Steelers could put that athleticism to good use. Many of our knowledgeable BTSC members have been quick to remind me of his more likely usage, doing his best Lamar Jackson impression at practice. Either way, Dobbs will be filling an important need for the Steelers. Who says you can't go home again?
Speaking of a bargain, try wrapping your mind around this blue light special. Only individuals of a certain age group will actually get that reference. The Steelers traded Dobbs, a 2017 fourth round pick, to the QB needy Jacksonville Jaguars after the opening week of last season for a 2020 fifth round selection, then utilized that draft pick as part of the trade package to acquire Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins just a couple of weeks later. Then they reacquired Dobbs yet again, via waivers. Talk about coming out the other end smelling like a rose.
Speaking about going home again, that's exactly what Sean Davis tried to do after last season. Davis signed with the Washington Football Team as a free agent, presumably to compete for a starting position at safety. Not only did the hometown boy not win a starting position, he failed to even secure a roster spot.
After experiencing an off season of discontent with the discombobulated Washington franchise, Davis should be extremely thankful to have the opportunity to return to a organization renowned for professionalism and a winning culture. Sometimes you don't know what you got till it is gone. Davis now has seen the other side in a way, although the Steelers are still the only team he has ever played for professionally.
As recently as a week or two ago, many Steelers faithful were lamenting the Steelers lack of experience on the safety depth chart. Problem solved and potential disaster averted. Now on to the next topic Steelers fans love to fret over, inside linebacker depth.
Speaking of inside linebacker availability, I feel certain some of our football savvy readers could tell the Steelers where they might find a great deal.