When Marcus Gilbert signed a five-year extension back in 2014, he thought he’d be spending the rest of his career with the Steelers. However, the organization surprised the veteran when they traded him to the Cardinals for a sixth-rounder back in March.
“I felt like I disappointed a lot of people in Steeler Nation,” Gilbert told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “(The last year) hasn’t been easy.”
Following a 2017 season that saw Gilbert miss time due to injury and suspension, the veteran offensive lineman was ready to contribute in 2018. The 31-year-old started five of the Steelers’ first six games before suffering a partially torn quad. Instead of undergoing surgery, Gilbert opted for a stem cell shot with the hope that he’d be able to return later in the season. Despite feeling like he was ready to play, the Steelers placed him on injured reserve in mid-December, with the team deciding to roll with Matt Feiler at right tackle.
Unfortunately for Gilbert, that injury ultimately ended his tenure in Pittsburgh. As Fowler writes, there was once hope that the Steelers would be able to retain their offensive line for the foreseeable future. After all, Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster had recently inked new contracts, and Alejandro Villanueva and David DeCastro are signed long=term. Of course, things rarely work out as anticipated in the NFL.
“You can never be surprised with NFL business,” he said. “They respect me, but you have to understand it’s a business. I didn’t take it personally.”
Gilbert will go from protecting future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger to protecting first-overall pick Kyler Murray. Gilbert is one of three veteran additions to the Cardinals offensive line, as the team also signed J.R. Sweezy and Max Garcia.
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