It’s about as ‘off’ as the NFL offseason gets. The Pittsburgh Steelers has concluded mandatory minicamp and will not reconvene until the end of July to kick off training camp for the 2021 NFL season. Since there isn’t much going on with the team at this time, Steelers fans realize it’s not a bad thing if the Steelers aren’t at the top of the news cycle.
While we here at Behind The Steel Curtain will continue to bring you content as we always do, stories coming in the ‘breaking news’ department will be very few and far between. With this in mind, there are three examples of a breaking news story which could be seen at Behind The Steel Curtain which would be a good thing for the Steelers, most of which are to be expected in the near future.
The announcement for the Steelers 2021 training camp
The Pittsburgh Steelers are permitted to begin their training camp for the 2021 season as early as July 21, 2021. Because they are scheduled to play Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, August 5, the Steelers and Cowboys gets to begin training camp before the rest of the NFL.
While this is a date we can pretty much lock into our calendars, it still has not been officially announced by the Steelers. More concerning, the location for training camp has not been set and is likely what is holding up the announcement.
For more than 50 years the Pittsburgh Steelers held training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into everything for the 2020 season and the Steelers were not permitted to go on the road for training camp and had to hold their practices at either the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex or Heinz Field. The Steelers chose to go with their home stadium as they worked in preparation for the 2020 season without any preseason games. So will the Steelers return to Latrobe in 2021 or will they be at Heinz Field for a second-straight season?
Although some NFL teams have announced their training camp schedules and locations, the Steelers have not. In fact, it’s quite surprising the announcement has yet to come now that it is less than a month away. I don’t know if it’s Covid protocols or other things which need cleared through the NFL, but hopefully Steelers fans will soon be receiving the news of when and where the Steelers will reconvene for their 2021 training camp.
The Signing of Kendrick Green
The Pittsburgh Steelers had nine draft picks in the 2021 NFL draft. The signing of eight of those draft picks came relatively close together as some signings were announced jointly. But after several weeks of silence, only eight of the nine players have officially inked their rookie contract.
The lone player remaining who is not under contract is Steelers third-round draft pick Kendrick Green. There are multiple reasons why Green may have not signed his contract yet, but the most likely may be because of the lack of other third-round picks working out their deals throughout the NFL.
Regardless of the reason, the news of a Kendrick Green rookie contract should be coming at any moment. With so much of rookies contracts already settled based on draft position, it’s highly unlikely the Steelers would be faced with a hold out situation.
The signing of a Free Agent
While the first two items on this list are necessary before training camp begins, this final one is not. The Pittsburgh Steelers may very well choose to go into training camp with the exact same 90 players they had at minicamp. But with players like Malik Hooker and Trai Turner coming for visits over the last couple weeks, the Steelers are showing they could be in the market to add another player before training camp.
For those wondering about the salary cap, the Steelers have a little over $7 million in cap space at the moment. With expenses such as the 52nd and 53rd contract when the Steelers cut down the roster, signing of the practice squad which may be 16 players this season, and having money to do business throughout the NFL season, the Steelers might already be a little short of their regular-season goal at this time. Regardless, the Steelers could go ahead and make a move knowing that they will have to make a salary adjustment, likely in the form of a restructure or extension, in order to the be where they want to be in regards to the salary cap come September 1.
If the Steelers do choose to make a move at this time, the biggest question would be at which position. Depending on the size of the contract of any player they would sign, the Steelers are limited with the number of moves they could make and therefore must be very specific with positions they would want to address.
So there are three stories which could, and in two cases should, be coming in the next several weeks. Otherwise, we truly are in the ‘no news is good news’ portion of the 2021 NFL offseason.
If you are still looking to get your Steelers fix until the Steelers reconvene, here are the latest installments of two series we are running between now and training camp...
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