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 the rookie contracts are done, I’ll pair a player under contract with a free agent as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up are safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Karl Joseph.
Years with the Steelers: 4
Years in the NFL: 5
Contract Status: Signed through 2026
Contract Details: $18,000,000 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $28,500,000 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2022: 15 regular season
Games started in 2022: 15 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 939 (defense), 65 (special teams)
PFF score: 82.4 (3rd of 89)
Notable stats: Fitzpatrick was tied for the NFL league in interceptions with 6 in 2022, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick also had 11 passes defensed and 96 tackles.
Notes: There’s really not much to say about Minkah Fitzpatrick moving forward following the 2022 NFL season. He’s under contract with the Steelers for four more seasons and has been selected as the free safety in just about any All-Pro Team by various outlets. Ultimately, the Steelers just need Fitzpatrick to keep doing what he does and surround him with the most complementary pieces in the secondary that they can.
Years with the Steelers: 2
Years in the NFL: 7
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money.
Games played in 2022: 0 regular season
Games started in 2022: 0 regular season
Snaps (regular season): None
PFF score: None
Notable stats: None
Notes: It’s sad when a player is lost for the season in a preseason game. It’s even more sad when the player was injured on the opening kickoff of the first preseason game. Karl Joseph injured his foot on the Steelers kick return to start their preseason against the Seattle Seahawks and was lost for the 2022 season. Signed to a veteran minimum salary last year, I could see the Steelers doing the same thing for one more season for Joseph again next year. Although I don’t think he’s in their long-term plans, there would be little downside to bringing him back to training camp just like they did in 2022.
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