The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. So much so that several veterans may be fighting for their spots on the roster during this offseason. Here is a list of the five veterans in the most danger of being cut before opening day.
- Steve Johnson – ILB – Johnson may end up being the victim of the glut of players at the wide receiver and cornerback spots. If the Steelers decide that any of those players on the bubble could play special teams adequately, they could decide to bump him off to make room. In fact, Johnson’s spot is vulnerable to any other position player who can play special teams.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR – Pittsburgh has so many wide receivers, we could see more than one surprise cuts at this position. Right now the team has 6 who played significantly last season, plus free agent Justin Hunter and reinstated Martavis Bryant. That’s 8 players for 5 maybe 6 spots tops. Heyward-Bey is coming off an injury plagued season and is the oldest of the group. This will make him a possible candidate to be cut. What he does going for him is that he is clearly the best special teams player of the bunch. Sammie Coates emergence as a special teams player really jeopardises this advantage though.
- Justin Hunter – WR – Hunter is in the same situation as Heyward-Bey, only he has no special teams value whatsoever. Presumably he was brought in as insurance in case something went wrong with the Martavis Bryant comeback. There’s still plenty of time for that, but all signs point to Bryant turning his life around at this point. Justin Hunter needs to have a spectacular offseason to force his way on to this roster.
- William Gay – CB – The cornerback spot may be just as crowded as the receiver spot for the Steelers. With two new draft picks in Cam Sutton and Brian Allen, and the hopeful return of Senquez Golson there’s not much room at the inn at this position. The Steelers also brought in free agent Coty Sensabaugh during the offseason. Gay is coming off a down season and at 32 the end is near for the veteran corner. His spot comes down to the health of Golson, or whether or not he can outplay Sensabaugh for a place on the roster.
- Arthur Moats – OLB – The numbers aren’t nearly as deep or as talented at outside linebacker as other positions for the Steelers. This may benefit a player like Moates who at this point is marginal at best. Pittsburgh did draft two edge rushers to help bolster this problem. While T. J. Watt will compete for a starting job, the real threat to Moates roster spot will be Keion Adams. The seventh round pick is a younger, cheaper version of what Moats brings to the table. A good training camp and preseason by Adams could spell the end for veteran Arthur Moats.