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Steelers Roster Cuts: The winners and losers of the tough decisions to the 53-man roster

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster is far from settled, there were some tough decisions to be made throughout the process. We identify some winners and losers of this process.

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You may have read the headline to this article and thought, "Well everyone who got cut would be a loser." Although some might see this as truth, I disagree. Some players had to know they never had a legitimate shot to make the team barring injuries, and there were certainly winners who made the team in an unexpected fashion.

Nonetheless, it should be noted the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster can still change with players being moved to injured reserve, and the team signing players who were cut from other teams, like they did with the Buffalo Bills in 2015 by acquiring Ross Cockrell.

So, time to get to the winners and losers of the cuts to get to the 53-man roster.


Jordan Dangerfield

Does this mean the, "I get no respect at all" jokes will have to end now that the safety made the team?Third time is a charm for Dangerfield as he proved he is capable on special teams, depth at a thin position and ultimately outplayed others to make the team. This editor is happy for the former Towson product.

Tyler Matakevich

Steelers fans got their wish. "Dirty Red" made the team, thankfully stopping a large group of the fan base to storm the UMPC Rooney Practice Facility with torches and pitch forks. Matakevich earned his spot, and although his production could have mirrored other players, there is a good chance the Steelers didn't want to risk putting him on waivers and lose him to another NFL franchise.

Daryl Richardson

The dreadlocks will make their appearance in the regular season for the Steelers, and congratulations is in order for Richardson. He will certainly get a carry or two in the first three games of the season when Le'Veon Bell is out due to suspension, but the tough part for Richardson will be keeping his spot when Bell returns to the team in Week 4.


Doran Grant

For the second straight year the former 4th round draft pick failed to make the initial 53-man roster. Some are expecting the Steelers to put him on the 53-man roster when they slide Senquez Golson to injured reserve, but the team could be looking to add a tight end or offensive tackle in that open roster spot. Regardless, if anyone knows the journey is far from over, it would be Grant. He ended up making his way onto the game day roster by the end of 2015.

Steven Johnson

The Steelers typically don't bring in a free agent and cut him loose, but they did so with Johnson. It wasn't like Johnson had some incredible pedigree coming with him, but he was beat out by a rookie 7th round draft pick. Let that sink it for a bit. Johnson played well, but it made more sense for the team to keep Matakevich in terms of upside, cost and age.

Rookie Cuts

Demarcus Ayers and Travis Feeney were the only draft picks to not make the Steelers 53-man roster, not counting Jerald Hawkins who was sent to injured reserve but would have made the roster if healthy, and they now hope to be added to the team's 10-man practice squad. In both cases it will do the rookies good if they can land on the practice squad, get a year in the weight room and gain a familiarity with the team and the systems.