Steelers Rumors

Steelers’ Anthony Chickillo Arrested

The Steelers are in the news on their bye week, which is never a good sign. Pittsburgh linebacker Anthony Chickillo was arrested over the weekend, according to WTAE Pittsburgh.

Chickillo has been charged with simple assault, criminal mischief and harassment. A source told WTAE that the incident involved Chickillo’s girlfriend, so it’s a domestic violence issue. A Steelers spokesperson told the news channel “we are aware of an incident involving Anthony Chickillo last night and are still gathering information. Until we have further details we will not provide any further comments.”

It’s possible Chickillo will be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list since it’s a domestic violence incident, and he could be slapped with a minimum six-game ban if the league’s investigation finds him at fault. Chickillo was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the sixth-round back in 2015. After playing out his rookie deal, he signed a two-year, $8MM deal to remain with the team this past March.

Last season Chickillo played around 28 percent of the team’s defensive snaps while also being a core special teamer. He missed three games earlier this year with a foot injury, returning for their Week 6 win over the Chargers and notching a half-sack. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more on the situation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Taylor, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

When questioned regarding the report of Cordy Glenn‘s eventual suspension, Zac Taylor stated that the tackle is “dealing with an internal discipline issue” and he would not be commenting about it further, relays ESPN’s Ben Baby. This coincides with the Bengals and their official statement regarding Glenn the following day. Taylor was also questioned regarding much maligned offensive line coach Jim Turner, and denied that there was any sort of rift between the players and Turner, despite the speculation that the argument between Glenn and and unnamed coach was indeed Turner. Taylor would go on to show his support for Turner, stating that he supports the way Turner has handled the Glenn situation, relays The Athletic‘s Paul Denher Jr. Turner is no stranger to controversy, as he was Miami’s offensive line coach during the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito bullying scandal, and was eventually fired in 2014 after an independent report indicated he participated in harassment of players. He was also suspended by Texas A&M in 2016 after using sexually-charged presentation slides during a women’s football clinic. The 0-6 Bengals take on the Jaguars this Sunday.

Here are some more developments out of the AFC North:

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/15/19

A look at the latest NFL practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/19

Here’s a rundown of early-week minor NFL moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

  • Signed: T Dan Skipper (from Patriots’ practice squad)

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: DE L.T. Walton

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Steelers’ Stephon Tuitt Done For Year

Stephon Tuitt left Sunday night’s game midway through, and he’ll miss the rest of the season due to the chest injury he suffered. The Steelers fear they may be without one of their long-tenured defensive ends for a while, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting (video link) the team has concern Tuitt suffered a torn pectoral muscle.

Surgery is ahead for the sixth-year veteran as he watches the Steelers from a distance. It all has to be extra frustrating for Tuitt as his Steelers are 2-4 through six games.

Tuitt and Cameron Heyward have served as Pittsburgh’s defensive end starters for the past five seasons. Both are playing on high-end extensions and play key roles for a Steelers team that’s seen productivity from its pass rush this season. Tuitt was on pace to eclipse his single-season sack high (6.5 in 2015), having recorded 3.5 in six Steelers contests.

Heyward and Tuitt exited Week 6 as the NFL’s fourth- and sixth-best interior defenders, per Pro Football Focus, so losing the former second-round pick is a considerable blow for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has veteran backup Tyson Alualu and sixth-round rookie Isaiah Buggs as backup defensive ends. Alualu would be the next man up opposite Heyward.

Beyond this year, the 6’6″, 303-pound lineman still has three seasons to go on his contract with a 2020 cap hit of $14.9MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Will Try To Trade For Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin

Here’s some pie-in-the-sky fodder for your Sunday morning. Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Redskins owner Dan Snyder — who recently fired head coach Jay Gruden — is expected to make a strong push to acquire Mike Tomlin from the Steelers this offseason. La Canfora adds that Snyder, who has long admired Tomlin, is prepared to trade draft picks to Pittsburgh to bring the Super Bowl-winning HC to Washington.

Although there is a large contingent of Steelers fans who are unhappy with Tomlin, his standing within the organization seems just fine. Pittsburgh did raise some eyebrows when it gave Tomlin a one-year extension in July instead of the usual two-year re-up, especially since his new extension does not have an option for a future year. However, he is still under contract through the 2021 campaign, and team ownership has never expressed anything less than full confidence in him.

On the other hand, the Steelers may be nearing something of a crossroads in franchise history. Although Ben Roethlisberger is expected to make a full recovery from his recent elbow surgery and reclaim his starting job in 2020, the team is likely going to need to usher in a new quarterback era in the next couple of years, and GM Kevin Colbert is only under contract through May 2020 (Colbert apparently wants to go year-to-year, which means Pittsburgh may also be looking for a new top personnel exec in the not-too-distant future).

Plus, the Steelers are short on high-level draft capital in the 2020 draft as a result of their trades for Devin Bush and Minkah Fitzpatrick, so an offer for Tomlin could be more appealing than it otherwise might be. Sources close to Tomlin suggest the Redskins’ job could appeal to him, particularly since Snyder is willing to give him a top-of-the-market salary and full authority over personnel. Tomlin also has relationships with Washington team president Bruce Allen and GM Doug Williams.

But when weighing the Steelers’ record of stability and status as a perennial contender against the Redskins’ history of dysfunction and misery under Snyder, it is difficult to imagine a trade like this coming to fruition. If Snyder is unsuccessful in his pursuit of Tomlin, La Canfora says current Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles would be a top alternative, and we recently heard that Washington OC Kevin O’Connell will also receive strong consideration.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com neither refutes nor supports La Canfora’s report, but he does say Snyder will be patient in this process and will not begin his head coaching search until after the season. Snyder will give interim HC Bill Callahan and O’Connell the remainder of 2019 to prove their worth without any additional distractions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steven Nelson Ruled Out For Steelers

  • Speaking of injured cornerbacks, Steelers corner Steven Nelson won’t be playing this week either. Nelson suffered a groin injury during the team’s Week 5 loss to the Ravens, and the team just announced he’s been ruled out. In his place, Pittsburgh will start 2016 first-round pick Artie Burns. Burns has been labeled a bust by many and the Steelers declined his fifth-year option this past offseason, which shows you how they feel about him. Nelson had been playing pretty well alongside Joe Haden, so this is a big downgrade to the Steelers’ secondary as they prepare to take on the Chargers.

Steelers Promote QB Paxton Lynch

For the first time since the Broncos’ 2017 finale, Paxton Lynch will return to an active roster. The Steelers promoted him in advance of their Week 6 game in Los Angeles.

With Mason Rudolph ruled out, the former first-round pick will serve as Devlin Hodges‘ backup. Lynch caught on with the Steelers’ practice squad earlier this season. Pittsburgh has lost both Rudolph and Ben Roethlisberger to injury in five games. Both Hodges and Lynch were in-season roster additions.

One of the bigger first-round miscalculations in modern NFL history, Lynch spent 2018 out of football after the Broncos waived him in September 2018. He caught on with the Seahawks via reserve/futures contract but did not beat out Geno Smith for their backup job. The Steelers added the former No. 26 overall pick as an in-case-of-emergency option, but Earl Thomas‘ hit on Rudolph made Pittsburgh exercise its emergency scenario.

The Steelers also promoted running back Trey Edmunds and waived outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott and guard Fred Johnson. Edmunds is the brother of Steelers safety starter Terrell Edmunds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/8/19

Here are today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins