17 Offensive Players Left Fighting For Roster Spots

The Pittsburgh Steelers have now made their first round of cuts following their third preseason game and with a little more than one week to go until the roster must be set at 53 players, there are several offensive players left on the roster that are fighting for just a few available spots.

Here now is a look at the 17 offensive players that are either inside or outside the bubble right now.

Isaac Redman – RB – You would think that Redman would be the safest one on this list right now, but he has only played in one preseason game and carried the ball twice. Yes, I think he makes it, but I wouldn’t bet a million dollars on it just the same.

Jonathan Dwyer – RB – Dwyer has his warts but at least he has stayed on the field. Did they bring in Jones to try to take his spot? Like Redman, I still have a small doubt, but with Baron Batch now out of the picture, you have to like his chances.

Felix Jones – RB – As long as LaRod Stephens-Howling is not down for long, you would have to think Jones is battling Dwyer or Redman for a spot on the roster. He will get his tires kicked a ton Thursday night.

Guy Whimper – T/G – Whimper might have to make the final roster by default should the Steelers not find anything on the waiver wire soon. Do they really want to guarantee his contract for the season?

David Johnson – TE – If his knee holds up, Johnson figures to be the No. 2 tight end to start the season. They will likely give him plenty of work Thursday night.

Derek Moye – WR – Moye took a big step forward with his play Saturday night and might have separated himself a little from Brown. Now, will the Steelers keep four or five wide receivers? At worst, you have to think that he has a shot at the practice squad once again.

Justin Brown – WR – Brown is pretty much in the same boat as Moye and roster numbers could wind up claiming both of them. Beings as neither he or Moye are considered special teams guys, that won’t help their causes.

Michael Palmer – TE – Outside of a few touchdown saving special teams tackles, Palmer really hasn’t done anything. Color me surprised if he makes the final 53.

Jamie McCoy – TE- Being as he is not eligible for the practice squad, McCoy needs to make the 53 or be gone for good.

Chris Hubbard – G – Could Hubbard be the surprise eighth offensive lineman to start the season that will be on the inactive list? He has logged 101 snaps on offense at left guard in the preseason and would be a candidate to shuttle back and forth to the practice squad. Maybe the team thinks Ramon Foster can be the emergency fourth tackle. With Justin Cheadle now being waived injured, it clears the path for Hubbard to make the practice squad if he isn’t the eighth offensive lineman.

Reggie Dunn – KR/PR – Nothing has changed with Dunn ever since he was signed as an undrafted free agent. Either he makes the team as a return specialist or he is gone for good.

Alvester Alexander – RB – At this point you cant rule Alexander out for the practice squad.

Joe Long – T – I will be surprised if Long makes the final cut, so he has to hope for a return trip to the practice squad and that’s not out of the question.

Nathan Overbay – TE – Overbay has two things going for him and that is health and practice squad eligibility. Due to the lack of healthy players at the tight end position, he very well could start the season on the eight man practice squad.

Kashif Moore – WR – No snaps on offense since the preseason opener. He is just a body for the final preseason game.

Joe Madsen – C – Zero snaps on offense in the first three preseason games is all you need to know here. He might get a chance to play Thursday night, but it will be too late.

Mike Golic Jr. – G – Like Madsen, Golic has yet to play a snap on offense. In short, the best that both can hope for is the practice squad and that might be a reach.

  • steeltown

    I like this list..and I agree on most, OL is still a mystery but I can see why you would go Hubbard instead of Whimper… could flip flop Hubbard or Long

    I like the idea of keeping V.Williams and Rolle on roster, they are play makers and we need ILBs that are good in coverage (Rolle) in the new passhappy NFL

    I think Victorian can easily be placed on the PS, so I agree I’d put Hawthorne on the 53man roster

    Could also see Garvin on the PS instead of Kion Wilson, its a toss up

    Im still uncertain about the Spaeth situation, might put him on IR with designation and then keep either Cromartie-Smith or Palmer

  • marvin87

    why would you keep moyne over dunn , do you really think moyne has any upside as a slot receiver? Dunn can be use as a full time kickoff return man who could make things happen 9 yards deep in the end zone and he could a part time punt return man early in the season and full time by the mid point. Also they use dunn as a runner on reverses and the bubble screen.

  • DoctorNoah

    Dunn is fast but they need bodies at RB and Felix Jones can return kicks, as can the receivers. Dunn remains a one trick pony and hasn’t shown great hands as a WR in camp to the point that they have only used him as a specialist. Moye is a fairly polished receiver with no PS eligibility left and has shown his worth both in practice and on the field. Not saying it’s an obvious choice, but the team may be better off with a tall red-zone target than a kickoff return whiz in a league where kickoffs are rarely able to be returned.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Hubbard is a G and Long is a T thus we need a back up G

  • Timothy Rea

    I’d change this in trying to keep Justin Brown and Moye. Either trading redman (for whatever we can get), removing Carter from LB crew or Hubbard from the OL.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Im with you on the HB. Jones pick up a real ?. I think Brown has better upside then Moye but Moye has made a strong case for a spot. I have Palmer over DJ. Not sure DJ has really ever recovered from his knee injury. I have Arnfelt on the roster with Ta’Amu cut having Woods as back up NT/DE. I can only see Carter making the squad because of exp. but I have Baxter over him. I do have Vic over Hawthorne but to me it will come down to the last game. All Hawthorne has to do is show up and be healthy because he is a draft pick.

    The Steelers are normally pretty safe and go with the guys that have exp. Whmper, Carter, TaAmu all have more exp. with the system and are more likely in.

  • steeltown

    We have Malecki as a swing interior guy, plus Beachum can play inside and out, a true OT makes more sense IMO

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Brown IMO if he doesn’t make the 53 will be on the PS. Although I like Ventrone there he is the most vulnerable IMO.


    Dunn is a weapen Game changer!!


    Dunn can start Steelers Between 35 or 40.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The only thing I disagree with, sadly, is Hubbard over Whimper. Thankfully, Whimper actually played much better in the last game.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If Spaeth goes on IR/Designated to Return, he has to be on the 53 anyway, so it’s still applicable. When/if they move him, they can add somebody else, including a waiver (Van Dyke was a waiver signing when they IRed DeCastro last year).

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think tackle is the more urgent need because both Malecki and Beachum are interior-capable. I think the 8th OL will be between Whimper and Long, unless they are able to get somebody they like off waivers.

  • Matthew Marczi


  • joed32

    Yes, I would think at least one WR on the PS.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If you remove Carter or Hubbard you likely have to fill that vacancy at the position. Can’t have 3 OLBs, for example, not enough depth. What they can do is IR Spaeth with a return designation once the final cuts are made and then add Moye back to the 53, assuming nobody picks him up…and assuming that’s what they want to do. If their intention is to carry a 6th WR after IRing Spaeth (he has to be on the 53 before he can be designated to return), they would cut Moye and not Brown, because cutting Brown would void his rookie contract. They’re carrying dead money for Batch and Ta’amu because of cutting them last season.

  • steeltown

    Oh ok, so he has to remain on the 53man till the regular season starts… and then someone else can be added

  • T R

    Still laughing so hard at your whimper comment… I really paid attention to him in the games. and he is as bad as everyone say.. Dang..

  • steeltown

    At this point Carter or Baxter has to be on roster as the 4th OLB

  • T R

    Question, can another team just snatch someone off practice squad without the team having any say.. do we get a alert so we can to 53 to saved from being snatch with another team?

  • Bradys_Dad

    I kinda thought Golic Jr. might make the PS as well.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    In January cold, hopefully in Pittsburgh, not so easy to kick ball through the endzone. Dunn should make team. Spaeth to IR.

    I don’t see any reason to keep Paulson, Dude couldn’t throw a block if given a box of Legos. I’d keep Palmer instead.

    Clark is old, Pola is brittle, and Shark will injury himself quickly, Cromartie-Smith is a lock, lose a linebacker, Rolle?

    Don’t they need 8 inactives?, or 7 plus the third QB. That would be WR#5, or Moye.

  • MP34

    At this point, I’m keeping Palmer over Spaeth, or at least over David Johnson. I know Johnson has the TE/FB thing going for him, but as an in-line blocker neither he nor Paulson offer very much. I could see Palmer taking second team reps as the reserve fullback as well. But he’s a blocking TE, and they don’t have one.

  • Matthew Marczi

    They got rid of the third QB inactive rule a couple years ago. You get to dress 46 now but you no longer get the third QB as a bonus. Basically you could use the third QB game day spot on another position now.

  • patrick Mayfield

    Nothing formal but the signing with another team is a negotiation. To that end the player’s agent would probably look to play the Steelers against the other team unless the guy wants out of town. If we put him on the 53 then try to slip back to the PS later then the other team can of course grab that player off waivers if they still have that need and not have to give the player the option.

  • patrick Mayfield

    I think you have to project that someone is going to get that IR designated to return tag. No reason to think they would give up the chance to hold onto an extra guy and basically defer the cut if the guy is a depth player. Plenty of candidates.

    Spaeth is the obvious choice as his recovery timeline lines up with the schedule well.

    LSH might be an option depending on what’s up with his knee.

    DCS and Isaiah Green purportedly have mystery injuries.

  • Mkeller

    I see no reason to have Chris Carter on the roster. I don’t think he’s shown much of anything as a professional. I’d keep Baxter as a developmental guy. He may get grabbed off the PUP as there are many more 3-4 teams in the league this year and many of them need pass rushers.

  • steeltown

    I would keep Baxter over C.Carter at this point, we need play makers

  • Ahmad

    This will more than likely be the 53 man roster IMO minus Hubbard. I think Joe Long makes the roster or the Steelers sign someone off the waiver wire.

  • NW86

    Good point. Looking at it that way, I really could see them cutting down to 7 OL if their plan is to IR/Designate Spaeth the next day. Then they could pick the 8th OL back up, whether it’s one of ours or someone else off waivers.

  • Mkeller

    I really hope there is some O-line help that will pop up on waivers. What they have on hand now just isn’t going to cut it if the injury bug rears its head.

  • joed32

    Are you sure about that? I thought that if another team grabs a player off of the PS they have to put him on their 53 but there aren’t any matching salary provisions. They’re just gone. Maybe someone could chime in and tell me where I’m wrong.

  • Alfredo Reveles

    What about Reggie Dunn??

  • patrick Mayfield

    What I mean is that the player doesn’t have to agree to a contract with another team. Not sure what you mean by matching salary provisions. It’s a free market negotiation. I’m not aware that there’s anything stopping the Steelers from paying a guy extra on the PS to keep other teams away from him.

  • Kolie Oak

    I think we keep 1 less linebacker, and give that spot to Reggie Dunn.
    We need explosive playmakers…

  • Matthew Marczi

    Right, teams can pay more, although I’m note sure if there’s a limit. I would think that there might be one to prevent teams from using it as an emergency 54th roster spot, but that’s a complete guess on my part.

  • Chris92021

    Good work. I pretty much agree with all 53. I will say this: any injury to the offensive line and we are in trouble. Any two injuries to the offensive line and we are dead in water.

  • marvin87

    he’s to fast and quick for this squad, lets keep another blocking tight end. Kick off td’s and punt return td’s are over rated.

  • I wonder whether Chris Hubbard, who runs a 4.8 forty, might make sense as a blocking TE similar to Beachum’s play against the Chiefs? With Beachum the primary back-up for all offensive line positions, we’d be in trouble if he goes down. We clearly need better blocking from a TE than Paulson currently provides.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I honestly think you have completely nailed the Offense other than 1 possible exception. It would not surprise me to see Heath on the PUP list when the season starts. Yes, maybe he could play but I want him completely healthy not trying to get there. With the overseas trip followed by the off week, I think you at least “consider” keeping him on the PUP.

    It is funny, esp. for the offense to see, to see the favorites people have picked out. Long hasn’t looked good, but people want him on the roster. Dunn is a returner only, but many want him. In fact, they both are still trying to earn a spot, but the list above makes logical sense. Even Hubbard over Whimper makes sense to me. Look at the special team snaps chart, Hubbard is on it….Whimper isn’t. Hmmm.

    For defense, I can’t really complain about the list, but would have some question spots. They are as follows:

    1. 2nd NT? Do we actually keep one or is Woods our backup NT?

    2. OLB…Do we keep 4? Do we just put Baxter on the PS and hope he doesn’t get taken prior to an injury forcing him to contribute? I don’t see Carter as a lock to make this team in any way shape or form.

    3. ILB…can any of these guys slide outside in this group in a pinch?

    4. S….there was a point at which I thought DCS could make this team. I don’t see that any more, but I think we are writing off Ventrone. He has been all over the place, and outperforming Golden in many ways. On another note, Golden has NOT looked good so far this preseason.

  • dgh57

    Sorry, about that! I seemed to of jumped to conclusions!

    Post has been deleted.

  • Luke Shabro

    I keep hoping that Whimper doesn’t make the 53. I hate to say it for Max’s sake and I doubt it happens but I hope the Chargers cut Max next week and we pick him up. Most likely just wishful thinking.

  • Luke Shabro

    Baxter is so raw but I don’t care. Carter has shown literally nothing. As mentioned on The Terrible Podcast, he hasn’t even gotten close to hitting the QB. I understand the need for good special teams bodies but my God.

  • walter mason

    Yes I would think another OT more important. Is that why they tried Whimper at Guard? I hope its not him.

  • marvin87


  • Soliciting Steelers

    Drop a RB (Jones) and add Dunn in my opinion…or go 7 OL, but I think Dunn has to make roster, he outran Jones’ 3 KO returns with just his 1

  • Soliciting Steelers


  • joed32

    I don’t know that’s why I asked. I do know that we have had players claimed off of our PS and never heard about them being offered more money to stay.

  • Putter

    I think you just shot Marvin…..he was a tad sarcastic

  • StrengthOfVictory

    No way Justin Brown gets left out in the cold. They LOVE developing WR talent in the later rounds, and he’s coming along nicely. I think Brown gets the last receiver spot, and Moye goes to the PS.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    No Alan Baxter or Justin Brown at all? Haha good one.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Moye isn’t eligible for PS. To be honestly I see them keeping 6 wide receivers anyway with one of the RB being released or traded away.. yes I see Felix Jones’ value to team as much Adrian Robinson was to us, which is a foddler between 53-men roster and PS. Felix Jones offer some luxuries but he isn’t a must-have for us.

  • bgsteelfan

    I don’t think we carry 5 RBs, possibly going for 6 WR or an extra TE instead, but otherwise this is pretty much what I would predict as well.

  • bgsteelfan

    Moye is eligible for PS, he’s never been on an active roster. Even still, he has outplayed Brown so far.

  • bgsteelfan

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t keep Carter

  • bgsteelfan

    My 80 year old neighbor over whimper makes sense…

    I also think Ventrone has looked pretty good and Golden hasn’t. But then, I’ve never been too impressed with Golden.

  • bgsteelfan

    That wouldn’t work. In order to go on the designated to return list, you first have to make the final 53 man roster.

  • Dan

    Agreed! More upside.


    i think due to the places being so precious this year, i don’t think Ta’amu will make it, i wouldn’t be surprised to see him and Arnfelt on the PS, Woods and Heyward give us enough gameday flexibility to just get by with 5. Ta’amu didn’t even play last week, i think that’s a pre-cursor to him hitting the PS. If they wind up having room, arnfelt has the better shot of making the 53

  • richard

    The special teams play has been awful to say the least, they may see Dunn as the only chance at a bright spot.

  • Jeff Anoble

    We will lose Justin Brown if he isn’t on the final 53. We lost Toney Clemons and he did not look nearly as good as Brown has this preseason. Chris Carter can’t even get stats against 3rd and 4th stringers.

  • lefnor

    I like Kion Wilson more than Vince Williams or Rolle. Wilson is the best blitzer of the group and (unlike Rolle) he is physical. I hope he will be the 4th ILB.
    My surprise pick is that McLendon will be the only true NT on the roster. Arnfelt is clearly the 6th best DL player. Woods can play NT better than Fangupo or Ta’amu, so Arnfelt can be the 6th DL player on the roster. He played really well during the preseason. I would be very disappointed if he can’t reach the roster.
    9 LB but no Baxter? That won’t happen. This D desperately needs pass rushers who can hit the QB. That ability earned a roster spot for Robinson last year. Baxter is a roster lock in my mind.

  • greeny

    We need to find OL off waivers. Depth is scary considering our injury history. Good job with this list.

  • Marcus

    I think Nicholas Williams will make the practice squad.

  • joed32

    This is what I could find but it isn’t all that clear.

    Like last season, a practice squad player’s minimum salary is $5,700 a week. There is no maximum amount for a practice squad salary, and teams in the past have paid extra to players to lure them from another team. However, practice squad salaries do count against the salary cap, a change that started last year with the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

    A player on a practice squad may negotiate a deal with any other team in the NFL, so long as they are signed to the team’s 53-man roster. A player who is poached off of a practice squad will be paid three weeks of salary from the contract he signed, even if the team does not keep him for that entire time; the salary is an attempt by the NFL to prevent teams from signing practice squad players from upcoming opponents simply to get information on that team.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He was put on injured reserve.