By Joseph Pucciarella
As most people already know, the Steelers cut veteran wide-receiver Antwaan Randle El today. Randle El, who turns 32 in August, was cut to free up cap space. A move, according to head coach Mike Tomlin, was a necessary business decision.
“I totally enjoyed playing before here and I know I will enjoy it now", said Randle El, following last year’s return to Pittsburgh after four un-substantial seasons in Washington.
Having only 22 receptions last year shouldn’t cause potential teams to shy away from inquiring about the veteran. Randle El still has value. First of all, he is a class act who is respectful, media friendly, and possesses great character. He has an infectious personality, and is a solid veteran wide receiver that can still be dangerous in the slot.
Furthermore, let us not forget his versatility and value in trick plays. Randle El not only has achieved 4,467 career receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, he’s statistically dangerous throwing the ball as well. He’s 22 of 27 passing, 323 yards, with 6 TDS and 0 INTS. Put that all together for a career QB rating of 156.1; nearly perfect.
Perhaps most importantly is his value as a veteran leader. Many would have liked to see El stick around and continue to groom Pittsburgh’s promising youthful receivers, including Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. However financially speaking, the Steelers didn’t find value in that scenario.
Antwaan will go elsewhere; not for big money, but for the right reasons. He’s a player who enjoys the game, and steps up when called upon. Let us not forget his two receptions in Superbowl 45: one for 37 yards, in lieu of injured Sanders. Don’t be surprised if Arizona Cardinals head coach, his former offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt comes calling.
Steeler Nation will think fondly of you ‘twan.
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