Every season as NFL teams transition from one season into the next, they will always be players who are still under contract which teams have to decide whether or not they will keep or simply let go. For the 2023 season, there have already been players in both of these categories. There was no surprise that the Steelers released William Jackson III and his huge base salary for 2023. It’s also not surprising that the Steelers released Myles Jack and his $8 million cap savings after signing two inside linebackers.
Inevitably, there will be some players who fans think should be shown the door that will still stick around. Whether it be because they’re frustrated with their performance or feel that an upgrade is needed, there will always be players that fans are ready to move on from well before the Steelers.
Keeping this in mind, here are three members of the Pittsburgh Steelers who have drawn scrutiny from some within the fan base and many feel the Steelers just needed to move on from for 2023. But when it comes to the Steelers, they obviously feel otherwise.
Whether it is here at BTSC or other places where people were chiming in on their thoughts about the Steelers, there are a large number who felt Mitch Trubisky and his $10.625 million salary cap hit for 2023 would be shown the door. Although the cap savings would $8 million of this number, the Steelers appear to be willing to take this on to have the veteran backup with one year already in the system available behind their 2022 first-round draft pick.
If the Steelers were going to move on from Mitch Trubisky since he was no longer the starter, it likely would have had to have been a mutual agreement or one where Trubisky really pushed the envelope in wanting to look for greener pastures. But if that were going to be the case, Trubisky would have made his intentions known well before April and taken advantage of the free agent frenzy at the beginning of the league year. While some still think a Trubisky cut could be coming, I think most have seen the light and know they are looking at the Steelers backup quarterback for 2023.
Dan Moore Jr.
Left tackle is one of the most important positions on a football team yet often only looked at in a scrutinized way. The Steelers best option at the position the last two years, Dan Moore was not supposed to be the guy starting in his rookie season. In two years with the Steelers, Moore has only missed one game and started at left tackle otherwise. Even though the Steelers fan base has turned on Moore for the most part, he was still the Steelers highest ranked offensive lineman over the last nine games of 2022.
While some have gone as far to say Moore should be traded or released, it’s not a huge portion of the fan base who simply want him off the team. Although the Steelers could improve at the position using one of their higher draft picks in the 2023 NFL draft, there is still no guarantee that the Steelers would plug that player in right away for Moore. Additionally, if a high-profile rookie is drafted and wins the job, there will likely be even more competition between Dan Moore and Chuks Okorafor for the other tackle. Either way, whether it be left tackle, right tackle, or swing tackle, Dan Moore Jr. has much more value in the Steelers eyes than he does with many of the fans.
While this might be a surprise to some, for others this is coming right in their line of thinking. I’m surprised at how many Steelers fans are hoping that they trade Diontae Johnson. After all, if the Steelers got the 32nd pick in the draft for Chase Claypool then Johnson should definitely give them more, right? Even though he didn’t catch any touchdowns in 2022, the Steelers see way more value with having Johnson and his contract then they would anything they get in return. Thinking that Johnson is going to be traded is probably going to disappoint most Steelers fans as the likelihood of this happening is quite small.
So there are three players who Steelers fans are ready to move on from that the Steelers hold in higher regard. While there could be other players on this list the fans are ready to release, they may not have been included because it’s still a possibility depending on how the Steelers add to the position in the draft. But outside of an unforeseen trade, the three players listed above aren’t going anywhere for 2023.