DeCastro Deal Gets Done: Steelers Resign David DeCastro to 6 Year, 58 Million Dollar Contract

Steelers resign David DeCastro to 6 year 58 Million dollar contract.

Sometimes things just fall into place. And so it was during the 2012 NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a cornerback – everyone knew that (frankly, when haven’t they needed a cornerback.) But then a player fell. And fell. And continued to fall.

  • When it came time to pick, the Steelers knew they’d be fools to say no.
steelers resign david decastro, david decastro contract

Steelers resign David DeCastro to 6 year 58 million dollar contract. Photo Credit: Jason Bridge, US Presswire

And so the Steelers drafted David DeCastro in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. DeCastro didn’t make an immediate impact as a rookie, a preseason injury cost him the first half of the season. His second season didn’t start so well as he caused Maurkice Pouncey’s injury.

  • With David DeCastro reaching the option year of his rookie contract, everyone expected the Steelers to make a move, and make it fast.

One summer ago, the Steelers started training camp by signing Cameron Heyward to a long-term deal. The Steelres clearly wanted to keep DeCastro in Pittsburgh, and DeCastro wanted to say? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect both parties to follow suit? The Steelers arrived in Latrobe and then broke camp, without a contract. The Steelers cycled through four preseason games. Still no contract.

  • Anxious fans started to figet and fret.

In the end, it was all for naught. The Steelers resigned David DeCastro to a 58 million dollar contract that includes a 16 million dollar signing bonus. David DeCastro’s new contract contains 8 million more in guarantees than the 8 million he was due under his option year. DeCastro’s new deal also makes him the 3rd highest paid offensive tackle in the NFL.

With David DeCastro now under contract, the Pittsburgh Steelers have succeeded in locking down Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster, and Marcus Gilbert, or 4/5s of their offensive line to long term contracts.

Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown and everyone else who depends on the line to dominate the a scrimmage will welcome that news.

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Steelers Sign Running Back David Cobb to Practice Squad, Waive Cameron Stingily; Grant to Buffalo

Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin continue to teak the Steelers roster ahead of Pittsburgh’s 2016 season opener vs. the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Their latest move saw the Steelers sign running back David Cobb to the practice squad.

  • To make room for Cobb, the Steelers waived Cameron Stingily.

The Minnesota Vikings originally drafted David Cobb in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but parted ways with the running back after a disappointing rookie season that saw Cobb gain just 146 yards on 52 carries. All told, Cobb appeared in 7 games and made one start. Cobb spent training camp with the Tennessee Titans.

Drafted players generally aspire to do more than secure a spot on a practice squad, but injuries to Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams prompted the Steelers to start practice squad running backs in their last three playoff games.

The move likely spells the end of Cameron Stingily in Pittsburgh. Cameron Stingily joined the Steelers as part of their 2015 undrafted rookie free agent class, only to get injured in the Hall of Fame game. The Steelers brought him back in May, right after the 2016 NFL Draft, and word was that Stingily had lost weight and reported in excellent condition.

However, during the Steelers 2016 preseason, Cameron Stingily struggled, rushing twice for a net zero yards.

Doran Grant to Buffalo

The Pittsburgh Steelers really meant when they cut Doran Grant this time. A year ago the Grant made the Steelers inital 53 man roster, only to get cut to make way for two waiver wire pickups, causing a firestorm in Steelers Nation. Grant of course returned to the practice squad, and eventually the regular season roster.

Doran Grant headlined the Steelers 2016 roster cuts, but many expected the Steelers to resign him after putting Senquez Golson on injured reserve. Instead, the Steelers opted to put Bud Dupree on IR and bring Steven Johnson back.

  • Grant nonetheless had practice squad eligibility and their were other moves the Steelers could have made to free a spot in the 53 man roster.

Instead, the Steelers opted to allow rookie first round pick Artie Burns and new arrival Justin Gilbert to vie for the 4th cornerbacks slot. Doran Grant has signed with the Buffalo Bills practice squad.

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Steelers 2016 Roster Analysis – Depth Primes Pittsburgh to Win

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 opening day roster for their Monday Night Game against the Washington Redskins appears to be set. While Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin could decide to add a tight end, put Senquez Golson on IR and sign a cornerback or make some other move, the Steelers brain trust has pretty much cast their die.

  • There are a lot of interesting stories and subplots, but any Steelers 2016 roster analysis must focus on it depth.

Indeed, while Pittsburgh is hardly bullet proof, the Steelers 2016 roster boasts of far greater depth than the team has seen since their last serious Super Bowl run. Seriously. Think back just three years. Prior to the Steelers 2013 opener, no less Bob Labriola compared the Steelers offensive line depth to walking a tight rope without a net.

  • Just 11 plays into the season, the Steelers fell off that tight rope.

And the bleeding didn’t stop stop with Maurkice Pouncey’s season-end injury. Before the game was over the Steelers had lost their starting inside linebacker and number two running back for the season, and their starting corner for the next several games. Worse yet, although Mike Tomlin would never admit it, the men taking their places were not “starters in waiting.”

This year things are different. Yes, certain areas of the Steelers depth chart are uncomfortably weak, but this Steelers 2016 roster analysis finds the Black and Gold rich in depth in several key positions.

steelers 2016 roster analysis, ben roethlisberger, antonio brown, le'veon bell, steelers triplets

Steelers 2016 Roster Analysis reveals depth primes Pittsburgh to win. Photo Credit: Gene J. Puskar, AP

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Quaterback

Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and Zach Mettenberger

Clearly, the Steelers will not contend for a Super Bowl should Ben Roethlisberger suffer a serious injury. But Landry Jones evolution as a quarterback has shown him to be a serviceable backup, and Zach Mettenberger has “upside” that neither Bruce Gradkowski or Bryn Renner could hope to offer.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Running Back

DeAngelo Williams, Daryl Richardson, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Roosevelt Nix (fullback); (Le’Veon Bell suspended for first 3 games)

A year ago the Steelers went with Bell, Williams and two fullbacks plus Dri Archer whom they held onto until it was clear no one would trade for him. And they ended up starting practice squad running backs in the playoffs. Word is that either Fitzgerald Toussaint or Daryl Richardson will be gone once Le’Veon Bell’s suspension ends.

Perhaps, but the Steelers are at least starting the season with a running back depth chart that’s three deep, which is smart.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Tight End

Jesse James, David Johnson and Xavier Grimble; (Ladarius Green is on PUP)

The future is now for Jesse James. As a rookie James showed promise catching the ball, but has struggled in blocking. James had better grow up quickly. David Johnson provides veteran depth, but is a blocker at this point. Xavier Grimble’s performance has been boom-bust.

The bottom line is, the Steelers depth chart at tight end is extraordinarily weak. Guys will need to grow up fast, or Todd Haley must creatively devise a way to cover this deficiency.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Wide Receivers

Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Eli Rogers

Who needs Martavis Bryant? OK, that’s perhaps overstated, but the emergence of Eli Rogers and the development of Sammie Coates should compensate for Bryant’s loss. Clearly, Antiono Brown is the best class of the group, and the class of his position in the NFL.

Like Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers cannot weather a serious injury to Antonio Brown.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Offensive Line

Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, Cody Wallace, Ryan Harris, B.J. Finney and Chris Hubbard

The Steelers boast four proven starters in Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert and Foster. Alejandro Villanueva still must prove himself, but should he falter, the Steelers have Ryan Harris, who is fresh off of a Super Bowl start. Cody Wallace gives the Steelers a solid backup at the interior positions.

Hopefully neither B.J. Finney nor Chris Hubbard will need to play significant snaps.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Defensive Line

Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Ricardo Mathews, Dan McCullers and L.T. Walton

Assuming the injury to Javon Hargrave isn’t serious, the Steelers defensive line depth is better than it has been in several seasons. Ricardo Mathews showed in preseason that he can play nose and defensive end, and Daniel McCullers size makes him an attractive option. L.T. Walton also has the look of an up and comer.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Outside Linebacker

James Harrison, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats and Anthony Chickillo (Bud Dupree on injured reserve)

Bud Dupree’s injured reserve designation puts a damper on this one. The fact is that the Steelers were counting on him to become the pass rusher they drafted him to be. Still, Arthur Moats has shown he can get the job done, and Jarvis Jones made flashes during last year’s post-season that few fans seemed to notice. Anthony Chickillo has done everything the Steelers have asked of him. Which is good, because he will be asked to do more.

Finally, James Harrison enters his final year. If things go well, Harrison will be a situational player. Either way, the Steelers are very wise to keep him on the roster.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Inside Linebacker

Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams, L.J. Fort, Tyler Matakevich and Steven Johnson

Timmons, Shazier and Willaims give the Steelers 2016 roster three starter capable inside lienbackers, with Steven Johnson and L.J. Fort providing valuable depth.

Tyler Matakevich reminds people of Jerry Olsavsky. Jerry O was another late-pick inside linebacker who wasn’t strong enough, big enough or fast enough, but made a career in being good enough. Tyler Matakevich will get a chance to prove the same.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Cornerback

William Gay, Ross Cockrell, Sean Davis, Justin Gilbert and Senquez Golson

Clearly any Steelers 2016 roster analysis must conclude that cornerback remains the weakest link on Pittsburgh’s depth chart. William Gay gives the Steelers a proven, veteran presence. Ross Cockrell played well in 2015, but remains untested as a starter. Sean Davis is a rookie, and Justin Gilbert has been a bust given his draft status.

  • And the Steelers are holding out hopes that Senquez Golson can return.

Keep in mind that Golson has had all of 1 and a half padded practices on his NFL resume. Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin went all in on the youth movement at secondary. The fact that Brandon Boykin and Cortez Allen remain unemployed tells us that the rest of the NFL agrees with their decision to subtract them from the roster.

It remains to be seen if Carnell Lake and Keith Butler can transform subtraction into addition.

Steelers 2016 Depth Chart @ Safety

Mike Mitchell, Robert Golden, Sean Davis, Shamarko Thomas and Jordan Dangerfield

Mike Mitchell leads the group, and if he plays at the level he played in 2015, the Steelers should be OK. Robert Golden finally has his time to shine, after playing behind Troy Polamalu and Will Allen. Shamarko Thomas most likely holds a spot on the Steelers 2016 roster because he’s a good special teams gunner.

Jordan Dangerfield showed he can play in preseason, and Sean Davis is good enough to work at Safety and corner.

Steelers 2016 Specialists

Greg Warren, Long snapper
Jordan Berry, Punter
Chris Boswell, Place Kicker

This time a year ago the Steelers were on their third of what would be four place kickers and had just traded away Brad Wing. There’s been little news about any of the Steelers specialists and let’s hope it remains that way.

Steelers 2016 Roster Analysis – Depth Primes Pittsburgh to Win

The Steelers 2016 roster has its weak spots at tight end and at cornerback, but at just about every other spot on the depth chart boasts a deep enough bull pen to support a serious Steelers Super Bowl run.

And that’s not something that has been true in recent years.

Buckle your chin straps Steelers Nation, the Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have built the 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers to win.

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Javon Hargrave Injures Knee, Leave Steelers Practice Early

How does the cliché go? NFL stands for “Not for Long.” Rookie Javon Hargrave might be in the painful process of proving just how true that is.

While little information is available, the headline “Javon Hargrave injures knee, leaves Steelers practice early,” offers window into cruel ironies that rule daily life in the NFL, because Javon Hargrave suffered his injury just hours after Mike Tomlin named him as the Steelers starting nose tackle for the Monday night season opener at FedEx Field against the Washington Redskins.

The Steelers drafted Javon Hargrave in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, in a move that made normally reticent defensive line coach John Mitchell gush. Our own Tony Defeo predicted that Hargrave would be a hit with Steelers Nation.

Javon Hargrave entered preseason behind Daniel McCullers on the depth chart during preseason, but the Steelers liked what they saw, as Hargrave got to the quarterback on a number of occasions.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly offered this account of Javon Hargrave’s injury:

Daniel McCullers provided an update to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times:

The Steelers have not provided an update on the Javon Hargrave’s status, and any real news must likely wait for Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference.

Should Hargave be unable to play, Daniel McCullers will likely step into the starting role, with Ricardo Mathews working in as needed. Steelers starter Cameron Heyward is already nursing a high ACL sprain and his status is not known for the Redskins game.

Thus far, Stephon Tuitt and L.T. Walton appear to be just fine. Which is welcome news to Steelers Nation, because the headline “Javon Hargrave injures knee…” provides enough drama the first Steelers practice of the 2016 regular season.

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Bud Dupree Injured Reserve Designation Surprises Steelers Nation

One day after cutting down to reach the NFL’s 53 man roster limit the Pittsburgh Steelers completed their initial 2016 practice squad and followed those moves by placing an injured member of their defense in injured reserve, and resigning another defender who they cut yesterday.

  • The plan unfolded just as scripted. Except….
bud dupree, bud dupree sacks tom brady, bud dupree debut, bud dupree injured reserve

Steelers Bud Dupree sacks Tom Brady in his 2015 rookie debut. Photo Credit: Stephan Savoia, Associated Press.

…for the defender placed on injured reserve wasn’t Senquez Golson and the recently cut player to be resigned wasn’t Doran Grant. Everyone expected the Steelers to make this transaction as soon as they could, and the move still may be impending (no other NFL team claimed Doran Grant off of waivers, no did he rejoin the Steelers practice squad.)

Bud Dupree has been nursing an foot injury though out training camp, and did not appear in any of the Steelers preseason games. The Bud Dupree injured reserve designation shows that the Steelers do not anticipate Dupree contributing for the first half of the season, when he will be eligible to return. Bud Dupree had a strong start to his rookie season, but saw his performance taper off during the second half of 2015.

  • The Steelers were nonetheless expected Dupree to beefup their pass rush heading into 2016.

That will have to wait. Steven Johnson is the inside linebacker the Steelers signed after losing Sean Spence and Terence Garvin in free agency. Johnson had played extremely well in preseason and show himself to be a capable special teams contributor, but the Steelers favored linebackers L.J. Fort and Tyler Matakevich.

Steven Johnson will remain at inside linebacker behind starters Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons and primary backup Vince Williams. The Steelers depth chart at outside linebacker will be headed by James Harrison, Arthur Moats, Jarvis Jones and Anthony Chickillo.

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Kevin Colbert & Mike Tomlin Assemble Initial Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 Practice Squad

Cut down day in the NFL is never wracking experience. Players who’ve fought their hearts out during rookie tryouts, mini-camps, training camp, and in the 3rd and 4th quarters of increasingly (and often undeservedly) maligned preseason games await news on whether their NFL dreams come true. It’s a grueling process players endure in Pittsburgh and the other 31 NFL cities.

  • The experience is far from stress free for Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert.
kevin colbert, mike tomlin, steelers 2016 practice squad

Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have assembled the inital Steelers 2016 practice squad. Photo Credit: John David Mercer, USA Today Sports

Their work continues after they cut down to the NFL’s 53 man limit. Colbert and Tomlin must simultaneously scan the waiver wire for cast offs — seeking the someone else’s veritable square peg to fit inside Pittsburgh’s round hole.

  • Cynical fans might write off this effort employing the logic of “…but if no one else wanted them, how good can they be?”

And some times those cynics are correct. The Steelers picked up DeMarcus Van Dyke in 2013 and in two seasons DeMarcus Van Dyke did nothing to dispel his status as a roster bubble baby. But then there is Cody Wallace, whom Kevin Colbert also salvaged from the NFL scrap heap in 2013. Cody Wallace has made 20 starts a center since then and two at guard.

But Tomlin and Colbert search for the Cody Wallaces of the world do so with fingers crossed, hoping that players who they wish to bring back via the practice squad don’t find homes elsewhere. If the early reports are correct, the Steelers got back everyone they were reportedly wanted back.

Keep in mind that the composition of the Steelers practice squad could very well fluctuate between now and the season opener.

At the moment, the Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 practice squad looks like this:

Brandon Brown-Dukes, running back
Cameron Stingily, running back
Demarcus Ayers, 7th round draft pick, wide receiver
Cobi Hamilton, wide receiver
Rashaun Allen, tight end
Matt Feiler, offensive tackle

Caushaud Lyons, defensive end
Johnny Maxey, defensive tackle
Al-Hajj Shabazz, cornerback
Travis Feeney, 6th round pick, linebacker

Tweaks to the Steelers 2016 53 roster will dive changes to the Steelers 2016 practice squad. Tight end represents the Steelers greatest weakness and the Steelers could easily add another tight end, likely signaling a return to the practice squad by Xavier Grimble.

The Steelers undoubtedly are looking at cornerback who’ve been cut, which would cost another player his roster spot, and likely land him on the practice squad.

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Steelers Justin Gilbert Trade Reveals Kevin Colbert & Mike Tomlin’s Personnel Persistence

As Pittsburgh cut its 2016 roster to the NFL-mandated 53 man limit, and the Steelers Justin Gilbert trade offered some insight into the mentality of the Steelers brain trust:

  • Never let it be said that Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin don’t get what they want.
steelers justin gilbert trade, markus wheaton, justin gilbert, steelers browns 2014 opener, chuck noll day

Markus Wheaton schools Justin Gilbert in Steelers 2015 opener. Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2014 NFL Draft, Steelers Nation knew one thing for certain: The Pittsburgh Steelers would target cornerback early and often thought the draft.

Commentators and bloggers alike rated cornerback a need position for the Steelers; likewise cornerback stood atop Steel Curtain Rising’s Steelers 2014 Draft Needs Matrix. And, if we’re to believe the reports, there was one cornerback the Steelers really wanted:

Of course, the Cleveland Browns took Gilbert with the 8th overall pick, long before the Steelers had a chance, so Pittsburgh opted against drafting for need, and picked Ryan Shazier. NFL General Managers don’t have the luxury of hitting a Rest Button and personnel “do overs” don’t really exist either.

  • However, sometimes second chances exist, and Kevin Colbert rarely passes those up.

Players such as William Gay and Larry Foote have departed for greener pastures, only to proverbially “Come home again.” And the Steelers also show little hesitation in bringing players to Pittsburgh whom they’d hoped to draft. As Neal Coolong of The Steelers Wire pointed out the The Steelers Wire, Ross Cockrell paid a pre draft visit to Pittsburgh with Ryan Shazier in 2014. The Steelers didn’t draft Ross Cockrell, but wasted little time in picking up on off waivers.

  • The Steelers, facing a quandary at cornerback addressed this weakness by trading for someone they couldn’t draft.

The move saw the Steelers trade a 2018 6th round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Justin Gilbert. If the reports are correct, Kevin Colbert was ready to invest a 15th overall pick in Gilbert. Instead he’s getting him for a sixth.

But there’s a reason why the Steelers Justin Gilbert trade happened so easily, of course….

Just two seasons after making him the 8th pick overall, the Cleveland Browns are ready to move on. Some of that has to do with yet another Cleveland Browns front office and coaching staff shake up in the interim. However, In two seasons Gilbert has only played 23 games and made 3 starts, and record just one interception.

  • Clearly you expect more from a 8th overall pick after two seasons.

In the Steelers 2014 opening day win over the Cleveland Browns, Ben Roethlisberger targeted Gilbert early and often, and then went back for more on the game-winning drive, hitting Markus Wheaton twice. Things, quite frankly, didn’t improve for Justin Gilbert’s following his opening day struggles in Pittsburgh.

As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recounts, there was no shortage of players in the Browns locker room who felt that Gilbert was worse than Johnny Manziel….

Steelers Justin Gilbert Trade a Wise Risk

Steelers Nation should not, however discard the viability of the Justin Gilbert reclamation project. Last fall, when a fan question the Steelers decision to pick up Ross Cockrell, Steelers Digest editor Bob Labrolia caution against skepticism:

Here’s a story Bill Nunn told me when I was trying to get him to teach me things: He said that with defensive backs, he always believed that you shouldn’t necessarily reject a guy based on what you see on film. And the reason you shouldn’t do that is because you don’t know what he’s being coached to do. If you don’t like that he’s playing off coverage, or that he opens his hips, or whatever, maybe that’s what his coach is telling him to do, and so you end up down-grading a prospect for the wrong reason. Nunn said you look for defensive backs with good measurables – height, weight, speed – who also are football players. If you have that, then YOUR coaches can teach them how THEY want them to play.

Justin Gilbert clearly has those measurbles, and it will be incumbent on Carnell Lake and Keith Butler to devleopt that talent.

In addition, maximizing the bang for your buck drives success in the age of the salary cap, and giving up a sixth round pick for 25 year old who had enough athletic talent to be the 8th overall pick in the draft qualifies as a good bargin. The Steelers Justin Gilbert trade represents a gamble for the franchise, but a wise one.

Welcome to Steelers Nation Justin Gilbert.

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Steelers Cut Doran Grant, Steven Johnson, Travis Freeney and DeMarcus Ayers to Reach 53 Man Limit

The Pittsburgh Steelers waived 22 players to reach the NFL mandated limit of 53. Most significantly, the Steelers cut Doran Grant, former free agent Steven Johnson and their Travis Freeney and DeMarcus Ayers, their 6th and 7th picks from the 2016 NFL Draft.

  • The Steelers also traded for Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert.
Doran Grant, Steelers vs. Lions preseason, steelers cut doran grant

Steelers cut Doran Grant and 21 others to reach NFL’s 53 man roster limit. Photo Credit: Jason Bridge, USA TODAY Sports used on BTSC

The Steelers Justin Gilbert trade could explain the Steelers decision to cut Doran Grant, who’d gotten extensive work with the Steelers first team defense. Assuming Doran Grant clears waivers however, the Steelers could resign him, assuming the Steelers place Senquez Golson on injured reserve.

However, Golson has vowed to return in 2016, and by putting Golson on their initial 53 man roster, Golson will be eligible to return after the 8th week of the season. Steelers decision to waive Doran Grant last season caused a major firestorm in Steelers Nation, although Grant made it back via the practice squad, and then the active roster.

  • Given Grant’s higher profile role in the Steelers preseason defense, there’s no assurance that he will go unclaimed.

So the Steelers cut Doran Grant, but take a measured risk in doing so.

Steven Johnson Caught in a Numbers Game @ Inside Linebacker

Johnson’s departure amounts to a minor surprise, as the Steelers rarely cut unrestricted free agents whom they’ve signed. The Steleers signed Steven Johnson to provide depth at inside linebacker following the free agent departures of Sean Spence and Terence Garvin.

However, with Vince Williams locked in for another 3 years, and with the emergence of rookie Tyler Matakevich aka “Dirty Red” and L.J. Fort the Steelers depth chart at inside linebacker is set.

Complete List of Steelers 2016 Cuts

The complete list of Steelers roster cuts is as follows:

Wide Receivers
Demarcus Ayers, Cobi Hamilton, and Marcus Tucker

Running Backs
Brandon Brown-Dukes and Cameron Stingily

Offensive Linemen
Shahbaz Ahmed, Antoine Everett, Matt Feiler, and Wade Hansen

Cornerbacks Montell Garner, Doran Grant, Al-Hajj Shabazz, and Donald Washington

Defensive Linemen
Lavon Hooks, Caushaud Lyons, and Johnny Maxey

Travis Feeney, Steven Johnson, and Jermauria Rasco

Bryn Renner

Ray Vinopal

The Steelers also designated tight end Paul Long as waived/injured.

Steelers 2016 Practice Squad Candidates

Travis Freeney and Demarcus Ayers could return to the Steelers via the practice squad, and so too could quarterback Bryn Renner, although the Steelers normally do not use practice squad slots on quarterbacks. Wide receiver Cobi Hamilton cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz also had strong preseasons, and remain viable practice squad candidates.

  • However, cut down day 2016 likely spells the end of the pro football dreams of Donald Washington.

The Steelers gave Donald Washington’s NFL hopes a last summer of life this spring after he impressed sufficiently at rookie mini-camp. Washington, however was no rookie, having played safety for Todd Haley’s Kansas City Chiefs from 2009 to 2011. Washington therefore has no practice squad eligibility and the Steelers decision to waive him likely ends his last chance at NFL glory.

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