The NFL’s roster cut down day came and went at 4:00 pm on September 2nd, but that milestone didn’t even slow let alone stop Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin from making moves.
The Steelers were expected to make two roster moves to make room for J.J. Wilcox and Le’Veon Bell’s return. Yet the Steelers brain trust did everyone one better by making three moves:
- Resigning inside linebacker/special teams player Steven Johnson,
- Putting third round cornerback Cam Sutton on injured reserve
- Placing safety Jordan Dangerfield on the waived/injured list
And the beauty of all of it, for the arm chair general managers that is, is that the Steelers still must make one more move before they formally activate Le’Veon Bell prior to the 2017 season opener against the Browns at Heinz Field.
The decision to put Cam Sutton on IR came as no surprise because by keeping him on the initial 53 man roster, he’ll be able to return at mid-season. It seems clear that this was putting Sutton on IR and resigning Steven Johnson was what Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert intended all along.
The Steelers decision to cut Jordan Dangerfield amounts to a minor surprise. While it is logical given the trade for J.J. Wilcox, Dangerfield had extensive experience with the Steelers defense having done a two year apprenticeship on the Steelers practice squad and having played last season. However, by designating Dangerfield as “injured/waived” the Steelers will retain his rights if no other team signs him.
In 2015 the Steelers placed Eli Rogers on the wavied/injured list and he returned to start for Pittsburgh in their 2016 season opener against the Redskins. In 2012 the Steelers placed David Johnson on the waived/injured list and he returned to start at tight end for Pittsburgh in the 2013 opening day disaster against the Titans.