Stevenson Sylvester provides a perfect example of why it takes a few years to judge a draft. Sylvester was taken in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft.
He didn’t get much action in at inside linebacker, but he did play well on special teams, including a forced fumble in the Steelers surprising upset of the Tennessee Titans.
Generally when a rookie defender excels at special teams that’s a sign of good things to come.
- However, Sylvester’s progress since then has stalled nonetheless.
Sylvester got one start in place of injured James Farrior in the Steelers regular season upset of New England, but was quickly pulled from the game. With injuries forcing Lawrence Timmons to move outside for portions of the mid-season, Sylvester figured to get more time. He apparently hadn’t shown coaches enough and only saw spot duty.
Stevenson Sylvester didn’t fare much better in 2012, and was part of a special teams unit known more for nullifying big plays with penalties than anything else.
Will the Steelers Tender Sylvester?
Stevenson Sylvester is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Steelers can retain their rights to him by offering any number of tenders.
Given his playing history, the Steelers would normally offer him the lowest tender, entitling them to a fifth round pick were he to be signed.
- Indications are that the Steelers are leaning towards not tendering Stevenson Sylvester.
That does not mean he will not be back.
In fact, the Steelers are likely to roll the dice that they can get Sylvester back at a lower, non-guaranteed salary, hoping that NFL teams won’t exactly be lining up to offer him a contact, even if they can get him without having to give up compensation.
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