Pittsburgh made its final four roster moves to meet the NFL mandated limit of 75, and the biggest move saw the Steelers place Ladarius Green on the PUP list. Heath Miller’s retirement began the Steelers 2016 off season, and the Steelers responded to Heath Miller’s retirement by signing tight end Ladarius Green from the San Diego Chargers.
- By moving so swiftly, the Steelers freed themselves to address their secondary during the 2016 NFL Draft.
Thus far the Steelers strategy has failed to bear fruit, as Matt Spaeth failed his physical and retired, and Ladarius Green has sat out all of OTA’s. While a slow recovery from an ankle issue landed Green on the PUP list during training camp, he is also suffering from headaches and is reported to be in the NFL’s concussion protocols.
- Ladarius Green’s PUP designation means that he cannot practice or play for the Steelers during the first six weeks of the season.
After six weeks on the PUP, the Steelers can bring Green back and allow him to practice, then they have 2 weeks to either activate him, or place him on injured reserve. All told, Ladarius Green’s PUP designation will keep him out of action for at least eight weeks.
Steelers Cut Defenders Hagen, Sigler and White
In addition to making Ladarius Green’s PUP status official, the Steelers also cut safety Jacob Hagen, defensive tackle Devaunte Sigler and cornerback Kevin White. Even the most die-hard Steelers fan would struggle to recognize these names, so perhaps the most suprising thing is that the Steelers waited to announce them today, as opposed to doing it on Sunday when they cut Jordan Zumwalt and several others.
Still Hope for Gradkowski, Washington?
The more interesting thing about the cuts the Steelers announced relates to the names not announced. First, the Steelers have made no move with Bruce Gradkowski, who injured a hamstring in the Steelers preseason loss to the Lions. Word was that Gradkowski would be out 4 to 5 weeks. The fact that the Steelers have done nothing with him suggest they see him returning in 2016, in one form or another.
- Another player who can hold on to his NFL dream for another 48 hours is Donald Washington.
The Steelers plucked Donald Washington out of oblivion, signing the former Kansas City Chiefs safety to play cornerback after Washington had been of the NFL since 2011, and even washed out of the CFL.
Little has been heard about Washington during training camp in preseason, but if the Steelers have kept him around this long, it’s because they’re ready to give him every last chance to show he belongs.
Even with the Steelers depth issues in the defensive backfield, Donald Washington is a long shot to make the team. But Steelers Nation does love good underdog story, and Washington clearly qualifies.