With the end of any season comes a roster purge and retool period. With salary caps, free agency, and the NFL Draft, no team will ever look the same year after year. Sometimes an offseason can see a team with a long list of turnover, other years very minimal moves are made, especially if you are the Pittsburgh Steelers. But with the Steelers coming to an end of an era, combined with having so many players coming up as free agents, a below average talent gap, and a boat load of cash to spend, this Steelers offseason will be unlike one we have ever seen.
But, it all starts with the players that will be coming off of the books once this league year ends. Below is a list of Steelers that may just be playing their final game in Black and Gold and how likely they are to come back.
Dwayne Haskins RFA
For the first time in 18 years the quarterback position will be an uncertainty heading into this offseason. Many of us have speculated that the Steelers next starting QB isn't already on the roster, but I do believe Haskins RFA tender will be given, meaning Haskins, Mason Rudolph, and someone else will be duking it out to start for the Steelers next year.
We already know Najee Harris will be the bell cow for years to come. The only question now becomes whether or not Benny Snell or Jaylen Samuels joins this list of free agents.
The Steelers tight end group looked better with Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry as the one-two punch. I expect Ebron to be gone, and I’m not sure he gets another shot elsewhere.
Ray Ray McCloud
Rico Bussey Jr.
The Steelers will have a lot of work to do at receiver. Some of that ay have to be answered when they figure out who the next quarterback is going to be to try and play to that guys strengths. Considering the lack of interest in JuJu Smith-Schuster last season, and his injury this year I wouldn't be surprised at all to see number 19 back in the ‘burgh on another prove it type of deal.
J.C. Hassenauer (ERFA)
The offensive line needs a complete makeover this offseason, and I really wouldn't be surprised if all of the above names weren't Steelers come next year. Also Zach Banner’s $5 million dollars will likely be cleared via a release. It is time to fix the line in Pittsburgh.
DeMarkus Acy (ERFA)
Who knows what the heck is going to happen here. All of the sudden Joe Haden may return and Ahkello Witherspoon absolutely earned himself another contract. But the Steelers still need more depth at the spot and should still be in the market for a nickel. What is going to happen to Cam Sutton is also a question rolling around in my mind.
Really I think the Steelers should bring all three of these guys back. Terrell Edmunds has gotten better with time, Miles Killebrew is a solid special teamer, and if Joseph is still a league minimum guy he should certainly be brought back into the mix to compete over an entire training camp.
Robert Spillane (RFA)
Marcus Allen (RFA)
The RFA status of the guys listed above make them easy guys to be brought back especially because of the Spillane and Allen’s special team prowess. The Steelers may opt to look for another outside linebacker back up during the offseason so flip a coin on Charlton.
Demarcus Christmas (ERFA)
One of the surprise performers on this Steelers team is Montravius Adams. The former Saints practice squad member has gotten better and better with his playing time in Pittsburgh and should be brought in to compete for a depth spot for next season.
Christian Kuntz (ERFA)
If Kuntz comes cheap it is a no brainer, if he wants a pay raise you can go out and find someone else who would do the job for the minimum.
But what do you think? How many of these guys careers as a Pittsburgh Steeler will end on Sunday in Baltimore? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.