The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 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 2023.
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 has previously 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 are safeties Tre Norwood and Damontae Kazee
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 2
Contract Status: Signed through 2024
Contract Details: $963,610 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $47,220 in dead money if released and would save $916,390.
Games played in 2022: 15 regular season
Games started in 2022: 3 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 243 (defense), 156 (special teams)
PFF score: 35.3 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats: Norwood had 23 tackles in 2022, two of which were from loss.
Notes: Missing the last two games of the season due to injury, Tre Norwood only played 16 defensive snaps the second half of the season after the Steelers bye. The return of Damontae Kazee cut into Norwood’s playing time significantly. With the Steelers having a couple of their safeties as free agents this offseason, Norwood will continue to add depth if needed. As a former seventh-round draft pick, his roster spot still must be earned every year.
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 6
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money.
Games played in 2022: 9 regular season
Games started in 2022: 4 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 273 (defense), 58 (special teams)
PFF score: 81.0 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats: Kazee had 20 tackles and two interceptions in 2022.
Notes: Breaking his arm in the preseason, the Steelers were not able to do what many thought they would with their safeties the first half of the season until Damontae Kazee returned following the bye. Once he was back, everything changed. In his first regular season game in a Steelers uniform, Kazee played every defensive snap against the Saints filling in for Minkah Fitzpatrick where he hauled in an interception. Having Kazee at their disposal may not be the entirety of why the Steelers pass defense came on strong the second half of the season, but it certainly had to be a factor. If the Steelers are smart, and the price isn’t completely out of hand, keeping Kazee around would be a wise investment.
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:
Kenny Pickett & Mason Rudolph
George Pickens & Miles Boykin
DeMarvin Leal & Larry Ogunjobi
Connor Heyward & Zach Gentry
Mark Robinson & Devin Bush
Jaylen Warren & Benny Snell Jr.
Calvin Austin III & Derek Watt
Najee Harris & Terrell Edmunds
Pat Freiermuth & Trent Scott
Dan Moore Jr. & Jesse Davis
Isaiahh Loudermilk & Chris Wormley