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Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Exit Interviews: Arthur Maulet and Justin Layne

The Steelers have a lot of unanswered questions in their secondary.

NFL: OCT 10 Broncos at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 cornerbacks Arthur Maulet and Justin Layne.

Arthur Maulet

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Cornerback
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 4
Contract Status: Free agent
Contract Details: Coming off of a one-year league minimum contract and he carries no dead money.
Games played in 2021: 16 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 2 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 379 (defense); 163 (special teams)
PFF score: 57.5 (91st of 120)
Notable stats (regular season): Maulet had 47 tackles, five of which were for the loss, two quarterback hits, one forced fumble, and one pass defensed.

Notes: Steelers really could go either way with Maulet when it comes to bringing him back for 2022. While Maulet did contribute to the Steelers sub package football, he didn’t exactly blow every one away with his play. If the Steelers want to bring Maulet back again for another league minimum deal, he would be a good player to have in training camp. But if Maulet is wanting more in terms of a contract, it likely won’t come in Pittsburgh.

Justin Layne

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Cornerback
Years with the Steelers: 3
Years in the NFL: 3
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $1,195,545 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers $230,545 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 17 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: None
Snaps (regular season): 28 (defense); 245 (special teams)
PFF score: 40.2 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats (regular season): Layne had 16 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Notes: Delegated to special teams, Justin Layne is never broken into any kind of role with the Steelers defense. Despite the Steelers using a third -ound selection on Layne, he doesn’t seem to fit well with what the Steelers have done defensively since bringing in Teryl Austin and acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick. Being very sketchy at times on special teams, especially being called for six penalties, there’s still no guarantee that Layne will make the Steelers 53-man roster in 2022 on the last year of his rookie deal. The best thing Layne has it going for him at this time is it the Steelers are very limited with the players they have under contract at cornerback.

So what do you think? How would you conduct Maulet’s and Layne’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