While there’s not a lot of drama behind the decisions, the Pittsburgh Steelers began their 2017 off season by signing their top 3 exclusive rights free agents, Cobi Hamilton, Roosevelt Nix and Jordan Dangerfield.
As exclusive rights free agents, these three players had little choice to resign with the Steelers if they want to continue playing football. However, the Steelers are under no obligation to bring them back to Pittsburgh.
- Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have decided these 3 Steelers 2017 exclusive rights free agents have futures in Pittsburgh, and their assessment is a wise one.
Right now there’s not a lot of love in Steelers Nation for Cobi Hamilton, given his drops and touchdown negating penalties in the AFC Championship. And Ben Roethlisberger’s suggestion that the AFC Championship was probably a little bit big of a stage for Cobi Hamilton and counterpart Eli Rogers.
But a year ago Hamilton was a player who’d spent the better part of 3 seasons bouncing around practice squads, only joining the Steelers on August 5th during training camp. Hamilton hung on to make the final roster, and came up big with several important catches in clutch situations during the Steelers 9 game winning streak.
- Cobi Hamilton might never develop into the man you want standing opposite Antonio Brown, but he’s a good player to have on the depth chart.
Roosevelt Nix, once a target for scorn and ridicule for being the Steelers second full back, didn’t play even play offense in college. Nonetheless, Nix has helped pave the way on a number of Le’Veon Bell’s record breaking performances. Nix has also been a special teams stand out.
- Perhaps the only question about Nix is why he doesn’t spend more time in the backfield than he does.
Try to tell Jordan Dangerfield that preseason is unimportant. Dangerfield latched on with the Steelers practice squad in November of 2014, joined the Steelers in training camp in 2015 and spent the entire year on the practice squad.
By the end of summer 2016, Jordan Dangerfield and displaced Shamarko Thomas as the Steelers top backup at safety and by the end of the year he appeared to be at least splitting “next man up” status with Robert Golden behind starters Mike Mitchell and rookie Sean Davis.
If the Steelers are to rise from being AFC Championship pretenders to legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2017 then each of these three men figures to play a prominent role.