Steelers Rumors

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/27/20

We’ll keep track of the practice squad moves from the past day here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Released: T Jared Hilbers

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: K Austin MacGinnis

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/24/20

Here is another spree of Saturday minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Moved from IR to reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Michael Joseph

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Promoted: CB Dylan Mabin

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Activated from IR: OL Cameron Clark
  • Promoted: K/P Sergio Castillo, LB Bryce Hager

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/23/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Promoted: DE Henry Mondeaux

Steelers Cut Dustin Colquitt, Expected To Bring Back Jordan Berry

A punter transition will take place in Pittsburgh, one that will send out the Steelers’ replacement punter and reinstall the position’s previous occupant.

The Steelers released Dustin Colquitt on Friday and are expected to re-sign Jordan Berry, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Berry operated as the Steelers’ punter from 2015-19 before being released in September.

Mike Tomlin said Colquitt’s punting was “not up to snuff” through five games. A 15-year punter with the Chiefs, Colquitt is averaging 43.1 yards per punt. That would be his lowest figure since his rookie season. The Chiefs released Colquitt this offseason, going with rookie Johnny Townsend in his place.

Berry averaged 45.5 yards per boot last season but was under 44 in 2017 and ’18. The Steelers gave Berry a two-year extension in 2019 but initially cut bait during that deal’s duration. Berry worked out for the Steelers on Monday and, provided none of his COVID-19 tests come back negative, would be in line to kick against the Titans on Sunday. Should the Steelers not have Berry ready to go, they have a backup plan in rookie Corliss Waitman. The South Alabama product resides on Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2020 NFL Cap Space, By Team

As shown by Le’Veon Bell‘s recent deal with the Chiefs, big name free agents can come available at any point throughout the season. His contract wasn’t particularly pricey, but teams like to keep cash on hand during the year, especially when mulling potential trades before the deadline. Excess cap room can also be rolled over from year-to-year and give clubs the opportunity to lock up their most valuable players with extensions.

Here are the most recent figures for each team, via Over The Cap:

  1. Cleveland Browns – $33.1MM
  2. New York Jets – $27.9MM
  3. Dallas Cowboys — $23.9MM
  4. Washington Football Team – $23.6MM
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars– $22.9MM
  6. New England Patriots – $22.9MM
  7. Denver Broncos – $19.7MM
  8. Detroit Lions – $17MM
  9. Philadelphia Eagles– $18MM
  10. Miami Dolphins – $15.8MM
  11. Indianapolis Colts – $10.4MM
  12. Pittsburgh Steelers – $9.6MM
  13. Cincinnati Bengals– $9MM
  14. Baltimore Ravens – $9MM
  15. Arizona Cardinals– $8.9MM
  16. Chicago Bears – $8.4MM
  17. Tennessee Titans – $8.3MM
  18. Houston Texans – $8.1MM
  19. Los Angeles Chargers — $8MM
  20. New Orleans Saints – $8MM
  21. Green Bay Packers – $7.7MM
  22. New York Giants – $7.2MM
  23. Los Angeles Rams – $7MM
  24. Las Vegas Raiders – $6.3MM
  25. Carolina Panthers – $6.2MM
  26. Kansas City Chiefs – $5.8MM
  27. Buffalo Bills – $5MM
  28. San Francisco 49ers – $4MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks – $4MM
  30. Atlanta Falcons – $2MM
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $1.4MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings – $158K

Steelers’ Devin Bush Has Torn ACL

The Steelers picked up a dominant 38-7 win over the Browns on Sunday, but they didn’t escape the rivalry game unscathed. Linebacker Devin Bush indeed tore his ACL and will be done for the season, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Bush started 15 games as a rookie last year and every game so far this season, so it’s a huge loss. In fact, the tenth overall pick of last year’s draft had played every snap this season before going down. Pittsburgh’s defense has been the driving force behind their perfect 5-0 start, and it won’t be easy to replace him. Robert Spillane, a 2018 UDFA who plays almost entirely on special teams, filled in after Bush got hurt.

The Steelers were allowing only 3.3 yards per carry, the second best figure in the league, entering Sunday. They completely shutdown Kareem Hunt and Cleveland’s vaunted rushing attack, but slowing down opponent ground games will be a lot more difficult without Bush in the middle of the field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/17/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Steelers Preparing To Let JuJu Walk In 2021?

  • On the subject of big-picture separations, the Steelers will have a decision to make fairly soon. They appear to have unearthed their latest Day 2 wide receiver success story, with Chase Claypool dominating the Eagles in a four-touchdown performance. With Claypool signed through 2023 and both Diontae Johnson and James Washington signed beyond this season, JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s future with the team could be cloudy. The Steelers should be expected to let the former Pro Bowler walk in free agency, per Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. Art Rooney II was vague on this subject this offseason. Ahead of the curve at identifying receiver talent, the Steelers have only signed Hines Ward and Antonio Brown to notable extensions in the Ben Roethlisberger era. Smith-Schuster is averaging just 9.0 yards per catch this season (21/188). That said, his 1,400-yard 2018 season would make the 23-year-old slot receiver a hot commodity on the 2021 market.

2021 NFL Draft Order

With most of Week 5 in the books, we bring you a way-too-early look at the current order for the 2021 NFL draft. For non-playoff teams, the draft order will be determined by the inverted 2020 standings, plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule. After that, the same goes for the six clubs eliminated from each round of the postseason, with the final two picks determined by the outcome of the Super Bowl.

Here’s where things stand in the race to the bottom:

  1. New York Giants (0-5)
  2. Atlanta Falcons (0-5)
  3. New York Jets (0-5)
  4. Washington Football Team (1-4)
  5. Minnesota Vikings (1-4)
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4)
  7. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans, 1-4)
  8. Los Angeles Chargers (1-3)
  9. Detroit Lions (1-3)
  10. Denver Broncos (1-3)
  11. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1)
  12. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3-1)
  13. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
  14. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
  15. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
  16. New England Patriots (2-2)
  17. Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
  18. Indianapolis Colts (3-2)
  19. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
  20. Carolina Panthers (3-2)
  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2)
  22. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
  23. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
  24. Cleveland Browns (4-1)
  25.  Chicago Bears (4-1)
  26. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams, 4-1)
  28. Tennessee Titans (3-0)
  29. Green Bay Packers (4-0)
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0)
  31. Buffalo Bills (4-0)
  32. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks, 4-0)

Could Jets Trade Sam Darnold?

The Jets have stumbled to an 0-4 record to start the 2020 season and have undeniably looked like the worst team in the league. As such, New York has a great chance of finishing the season with the No. 1 overall pick, which means the club would be in position to land a potentially generational QB talent in Clemson signal-caller Trevor Lawrence.

Of course, that would leave Sam Darnold — the No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 draft — on the outs. Plenty of fans and writers alike have connected the dots and have wondered if the Jets would consider trading Darnold, and if so, what the club could expect in return.

Last year, the Cardinals traded Darnold’s draftmate, QB Josh Rosen, to the Dolphins in exchange for second- and fifth-round selections. A few executives tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that the Jets could expect similar compensation if they elect to move Darnold.

Although Darnold has certainly shown more flashes of promise than Rosen had when he was traded, the Jets’ passer has not come close to living up to his draft status. Of course, there are plenty of organizational, coaching, and talent issues outside of Darnold’s control that have led to his struggles, but his overall body of work has left much to be desired.

Still, there are a few clubs that might not be drafting high enough to select a future franchise quarterback that will nonetheless need a talented young passer sooner rather than later. Those clubs include teams like the Colts, Bears, and Saints, all of whom could theoretically make a play for Darnold.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report also names the Steelers as a great fit, and he believes Pittsburgh should trade a second-round pick plus a player or two to land the USC product (Twitter link). Unsurprisingly, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic says the Steelers have no interest in Darnold, though he does believe Darnold or a player in his situation will ultimately be the type of passer that Pittsburgh will need to target to adequately replace Ben Roethlisberger.

Any Darnold trade would not happen until after the season, and if he continues to struggle, the Jets’ price would continue to drop, especially since rival clubs would see Lawrence as an inevitability for Gang Green at that point. Plus, an acquiring team would need to make a decision on Darnold’s fully-guaranteed ~$24MM fifth-year option for 2022 at some point in May, which would be just one more complicating factor.

Darnold will miss the Jets’ game against the Cardinals today due to a shoulder injury. Over the first four games of the season, he has completed under 60% of his passes and has thrown three TDs against four interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.