As the 2023 NFL league year set to kick off at 4 PM on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, there are a number of decisions that the Pittsburgh Steelers have to make with a fair amount of players when it comes to their status for this season. While some players are set to become unrestricted free agents, there are some still under contract with the Steelers whose future might be in danger simply because of the amount of salary cap space they would consume for this coming season. Although some players are more obvious if they will be kept on for another season, others are more up for debate.
With some great discussion with talking about the options for Myles Jack, I decided to extend the question to other players who have one year remaining on their contract and have a significant cap savings if they were cut. After discussing Mitch Trubisky, next up is cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. How should the Pittsburgh Steelers handle his situation? For the most part, there are three options when it comes to Witherspoon and the 2023 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers:
One of the biggest things working against Ahkello Witherspoon is that he only appeared in four games last season with the Steelers. Hampered by a hamstring injury where left the Steelers Week 3 matchup, Witherspoon missed the next four games before returning in Week 8. Suffering the injury again before halftime, Witherspoon never saw the field for the rest of the 2022 season and eventually ended up on the Reserve/Injured List. Not showing much value last season, the $4 million in salary cap savings looks more appealing than having Witherspoon on the field.
With the Steelers having two players set to be free agents from the cornerback room in Cam Sutton and James Pierre, keeping Ahkello Witherspoon is not an unreasonable idea. The $4 million that would be saved isn’t that bad when looking at the number of players on the depth chart.
Turning 28 next week, the Steelers could extend Witherspoon for a season or two in order to help secure the room. Coming off a season where Witherspoon only played less than 250 defensive snaps and surrendered a 75.9% completion percentage as well as four touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference, the cost could possibly be low if Witherspoon chose not to take a chance on himself to improve his numbers in 2023.
So now that these three options are on the table, it’s time to look at what might be the best move for the Steelers before opening up the discussion, I’ll give my vote:
My vote: Release
This has been my easiest to vote so far as I believe the Steelers will release Ahkello Witherspoon in the coming weeks. One thing I don’t see them doing is releasing him before they are able to sign at least one more cornerback to the roster whether it be one of their own or an outside free agent. Once that happens, I believe the Steelers will move on from Witherspoon and use the $4 million saved in paying for the addition to the roster.
So what do you think? Should the Steelers release, retain, or extend Ahkello Witherspoon? Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Should the Steelers release, retain, or extend Ahkello Witherspoon?
This poll is closed
In case you missed it, check out the same question for other players below: