The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2022.
Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin stated he starts his interviews with rookies, first year players, and those heading into free agency, we will do the same. To start, we will pair a potential free agent with a first-year player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up is defensive tackles Cameron Heyward and Henry Mondeaux.
Position: Defensive tackle
Years with the Steelers: 11
Years in the NFL: 11
Contract Status: Signed through 2024
Contract Details: $17,406,250 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers $19,218,750 in dead money if released. Heyward is due a $4,500,00 roster bonus on March 20, so any contract restructure would be more beneficial before this date.
Games played in 2021: 17 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 17 regular season, 1 postseason
Snaps (regular season): 955 (defense), 109 (special teams)
PFF score: 90.8 (2nd of 119)
Notable stats (regular season): Heyward had 89 tackles, 15 of which were for loss, 17 quarterback hits, 10.0 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, and nine passes defensed.
Notes: There’s really not much to say about defensive captain Cameron Heyward other than to make sure he’s still ready to give his all in 2022 at the age of 33. As long as Heyward is willing and able to go, the Steelers only question is if they want to restructure his contract for this year. If they do, the Steelers will continue to push significant amounts of money into the future.
Position: Defensive tackle
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 2
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $895,000 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers nothing in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 15 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 2 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 244 (defense), 55 (special teams)
PFF score: 42.0 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats (regular season): Mondeaux had 16 tackles, two of which were for loss, two quarterback hits, 2.0 sacks, and one fumble recovery.
Notes: Starting the season on the Steelers practice squad, Mondeaux was signed to the active roster ahead of Week 3 and played in every remaining game of the season. Getting his first two career sacks, Mondeaux was more of a pass rush specialist than he was being reliable in stopping the run. If the Steelers add upgrades to the defensive line position, Mondeaux could possibly be the odd man out. But heading to training camp, Mondeaux will get the opportunity once again to fight for a roster spot.
So what do you think? How would you conduct Heyward’s and Mondeaux’s exit interview? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:
Ben Roethlisberger & Najee Harris
Eric Ebron & Pat Freiermuth
Trai Turner & Kendrick Green
Chuks Okorafor & Dan Moore Jr.
Robert Spillane & Buddy Johnson
Montravius Adams & Isaiahh Loudermilk
Joe Haden & Tre Norwood
Christian Kuntz & Pressley Harvin
JuJu Smith-Schuster & Cody White
J.C. Hassenauer & John Leglue
Marcus Allen & Tegray Scales
James Washington & Chase Claypool
Taco Charlton & Alex Highsmith
Ahkello Witherspoon & James Pierre
B.J. Finney & Kevin Dotson
Kalen Ballage & Anthony McFarland
Stephon Tuitt & Carlos Davis
Ray-Ray McCloud & Diontae Johnson
Terrell Edmunds & Miles Killebrew
Dwayne Haskins & Joshua Dobbs
Arthur Maulet & Justin Layne