We have completed three weeks of training camp, and are less than 24 hours away from the first preseason game of 2022. During this time, certain player’s grasp on a roster spot may be slipping away. Whether it’s through injury, or poor play, these Steelers veterans are in danger of being cut over the next few weeks:
1. Mason Rudolph:
Despite an excellent camp so far, the improvement on Kenny Pickett’s play puts Mason Rudolph on the chopping block. Ironically, it’s Rudolph’s improved play may expedite his departure. The better he plays, the more interest he will get in the trade market. This of course is completely dependent on Pickett continuing his development.
2. Marcus Allen:
Marcus Allen has been injured almost the entirety of training camp so far. That does not bode well for him in a deep inside linebacker room for the Steelers. Which Steelers newcomer will make the biggest impact in 2022?
Allen is also a plus special team player, or the decision to cut him would be a whole lot easier. Even with his special teams talent, the $2.45 million the team could save against the cap by cutting him will be awfully tempting. Allen needs to get on the field quick to secure a roster spot.
3. Miles Boykin:
After the Steelers claimed Boykin off waivers, he was thought to be a pretty good bet to make the final 53 man roster here in Pittsburgh. A veteran player with an incredible athletic profile seemed like a no-brainer to make the team. But now with the outstanding play of rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin, the wide receiver room is quite crowded. Throw in a very good camp from Anthony Miller, and Boykin could very well be on the outside looking in. The nearly $2.5 in cap savings the team could get back by cutting Boykin does him no favors either.
4. Anthony McFarland:
This one should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the Steelers. Anthony McFarland has never been able to stay healthy enough to cement a spot on this roster. Perhaps that’s the reason Mike Tomlin has used him so sparingly even when McFarland has been available. Add to this the emergence of undrafted free agent Jaylen Warren, who is having an outstanding camp. This is one of the Steelers veterans who will have to really have to impress during preseason to make this roster.
5. Derek Watt:
A lot has been made of Derek Watt’s contract this off-season, and with good reason. Watt is scheduled to count $4.7 million against the Steelers salary cap this season. A rather large number for what in actuality is just a special teams player. The team could save almost $3 million of that by cutting Watt. It does not help Watt’s cause that he has missed a good deal of camp due to injury. Throw in the fact that Conner Heyward could play this position for the handful of times the team actually uses a fullback, and yes Derek Watt could be on the chopping block.