One of the changes for all 32 National Football League organizations in 2021 is how the teams will handle trimming their offseason roster. The offseason roster starts with 90 players, and it used to be trimmed from 90 to 75, and then 75 to 53.
Not anymore. Now, after Week 1 of the preseason teams have to cut their rosters from 90 to 85. After Week 2 of the preseason it goes from 85 to 80, and after the preseason is when the roster needs to be set at 53 players.
That’s right, the Steelers need to trim their roster from 90 to 85 today, Tuesday August 17th. With that said, Dave Schofield and I decided to predict the five players who will be let go. We have vastly different lists, and different reasons for those lists.
Take a look at the lists below, and our analysis for why we made those predictions:
RB Tony Brooks-James
DE T.J. Carter
RB Pete Guerriero
LB Jamar Watson
LB/LS Christian Kuntz
Analysis: When I sat down to pick these five players, I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. Sure, we can all look at the roster and predict the players who won’t be making the team, but when you are looking at who won’t be on the team for the Steelers’ third, and fourth, preseason games is tough. You have to look at veterans who won’t play much, and positions which need that depth to finish the preseason. The reason I had two running backs get released was based off of Benny Snell Jr. and Kalen Ballage both trending in the right direction for a return to the lineup. If they return, there is no need for those other running backs to remain on the roster. If they don’t, or even if just one returns, my prediction will be way off. Either way, I’m prepared to be extremely wrong with my picks...
DB Stephen Denmark
DE T.J. Carter
TE Marcus Baugh
G Malcolm Pridgeon
T Aviante Collins
Analysis: This was not any easy task. I wanted to cut a running back with the potential return of Ballage and Snell, but Brooks-James lead the Steelers in rushing yards and Guerriero wad the second-highest PFF grade on offense for the Steelers last Thursday only behind Kevin Dotson. Stephen Denmark is my most confident pick as he keeps getting burned in practice. T.J. Carter is the bottom of a deep defensive line. The last three was just picking players I didn’t think would make the practice squad so they could be on the chopping block. If I had to do it again, I would include at least one running back and Jeff’s choice of Jamar Watson (I didn’t even remember he was still on the roster). As for Jeff’s pick of Kuntz, he is still in contention to make the 53 so I see him sticking around.
What do you think of these predictions? Let us know your predictions in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.
I talked about this list, and gave some analysis for these picks on my latest Let’s Ride podcast. Check it out in the audio player below