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, and Ahkello Witherspoon, next up is returner/receiver Gunner Olszewski. How should the Pittsburgh Steelers handle his situation? For the most part, there are three options when it comes to Olszewski and the 2023 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers:
When a player gets brought in to do a certain job and they get demoted from doing that job, is there really reason to keep them? Gunner Olszewski was brought in to be the kick returner and was replaced by Steven Sims. Granted Sims is a restricted free agent so maybe Olszewski sticking around is insurance for the time being. But he doesn’t bring enough value on offense to warrant the $2 million salary he is set to receive.
Do the Steelers have another kick returner right now? With Sims a restricted free agent and Calvin Austin III not playing a single snap in even the preseason for his NFL career, there are a lot of question marks at the position. A $2 million insurance policy is not a big deal to hold onto.
I am struggling to find one good reason to extend Gunner Olszewski. It’s not like the Steelers could save enough money with an extension to really pay off, so it would only be to make sure they have him longer than 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
I just don’t see Olszewski bringing value if he’s not going to be the kick returner. The fact that they had to replace him last season doesn’t instill confidence, and he shouldn’t be one of the top five wide receivers on the team regardless of his salary. Only costing $2 million, the Steelers will only save about half that due to roster displacement. But to me, it’s still the right move.
So what do you think? Should the Steelers release, retain, or extend Gunner Olszewski? Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Should the Steelers release, retain, or extend Gunner Olszewski?
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In case you missed it, check out the same question for other players below: