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, I paired a potential free agent with players on rookie contracts. Now that both of those categories are done, I’ll pair players under contract as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up are quarterback Mitch Trubisky and offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor.
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 6
Contract Status: Signed through 2023
Contract Details: $10,625,000 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $2,625,000 in dead money if released and save $8,000,000.
Games played in 2022: 7 regular season
Games started in 2022: 5 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 356 (offense)
PFF score: 76.6 (16th of 39)
Notable stats: Trubisky completed 117 of 180 pass attempts for 1,252 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. Trubisky also rushed 19 times for 38 yards and two touchdowns.
Notes: While many Steelers fans assume Pittsburgh will be moving on from the $8 million due Trubisky for 2023, it doesn’t appear that this is going to be the case. The Steelers are already in the bottom half of spending at the quarterback position and will likely be passed by by a number of teams once free agency hits. The Steelers are only spending less than $14 million of their salary cap towards the quarterback position and likely won’t have that amount go up too much when a third player is added. Although Trubisky was not getting the job done early in the season, he showed he can come off the bench or even give a spot start and either win the game or keep the Steelers competitive. With other ways to find the salary cap space, the only way I see Trubisky not in Pittsburgh next season is if he specifically asks to leave.
Position: Offensive tackle
Years with the Steelers: 5
Years in the NFL: 5
Contract Status: Signed through 2024
Contract Details: $13,083,333 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $6,166,667 in dead money if released and save $6,916,666.
Games played in 2022: 17 regular season
Games started in 2022: 17 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 1,159 (offense)
PFF score: 61.2 (61st of 81)
Notable stats: Okorafor had three penalties called on him in 2022, one of which was declined or offsetting.
Notes: Over the last three seasons, Chuks Okorafor has played more snaps than anyone on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Logging over 1,000 snaps every season since 2020, Okorafor has been consistent in his availability. With the Steelers offensive line making improvements this past season, it’s not that the Steelers couldn’t eventually look for an upgrade at right tackle. But this position on the offensive line is further down the list when it comes to upgrades. Even with his high salary cap hit, Okorafor will be worth the investment and may even see a restructure before the 2023 season if the Steelers really need it.
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
Tre Norwood & Damontae Kazee
Pressley Harvin III & Marcus Allen
Kendrick Green & J.C. Hassenauer
Alex Highsmith & Malik Reed
Kevin Dotson & Tyson Alualu
Ahkello Witherspoon & Cam Sutton
Myles Jack & Robert Spillane
Minkah Fitzpatrick & Karl Joseph
Levi Wallace & James Pierre
Miles Killebrew & Elijah Riley
T.J. Watt & Jamir Jones
Montravius Adams & Tae Crowder
Cam Heyward & Jonathan Marshall
Chris Boswell & Christian Kuntz
Arthur Maulet & William Jackson III
Steven Sims & Gunner Olszewski
Jeremy McNichols & Carlins Platel
Mason Cole & James Daniels