You can tell that the Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 season is ever so close because the worrying is ramping up about whether or not a player or players that the Steelers might waive during the final cut down will make it to the practice squad.
What most fail to recognize is that 31 other teams also have tough cuts to make and their fans are nervous Nellies about one or two players on their current roster that possibly might be claimed off waivers and signed to a 53 man roster of another team.
Now I am as impressed with both linebacker Adrian Robinson and safety Robert Golden as the next person. If you have been reading here and listening to the podcast you know I have been talking both up dating back to the OTA sessions. I think both have possible futures in Pittsburgh, but as my latest roster projection suggest, I feel pretty confident that both will make it to the practice squad.
The last Steelers player that I can remember that was headed for the practice squad was Ra\’Shon Harris, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Harris was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers and placed on their 53 man roster to start the season. I remember it being a pretty big surprise back then, but the Panthers did have injuries at the time and needed bodies.
The Panthers wound up waiving Harris a month later and they signed him to their practice squad. Speaking of Harris, who is now a member of the Houston Texans, he unfortunately is out for this season after tearing his right triceps on Tuesday.
While most will point to Harris not making it to the practice squad as a reason to not waive Robinson or Golden, you have to remember that both were undrafted. I can\’t for the life of me remember the last time the Steelers waived an undrafted player during the final cut downs only to have him claimed by another team and placed on their 53 man roster. If you remember a name, let me know.
In closing, it is not uncommon to overvalue the Steelers fringe players, because we know the circumstances and have watched them play four preseason games come time for final cuts. The best 53 players that can help this team will make the roster. The next 8 best after that will make the practice squad. I would not fret about losing anyone to waivers. I am not going to say that it won\’t happen, but it is highly unlikely to.