The Pittsburgh Steelers have now trimmed their roster down to 53 active players and thus begins the watch to see whether or not they will add any recently released players to the roster between now and the season opener.
While there certainly have been a few notable players released by other teams in the last 4 hours, I really think the Steelers might just stand pat with what they currently have. Sure, they might wind up having an open roster spot next week should they place tight end Matt Spaeth on the injured reserve list with the designated to return tag, but unless there is a serious upgrade to be found that can play on the offensive line or at tight end, they might be better suited adding inside linebacker Marshall McFadden back to the roster.
The only way the Steelers will claim a player off waivers is if that player doesn’t have a big contract attached to him. If you are a fan of former Philadelphia Eagles guard Danny Watkins, you can rule him out as a potential waiver wire target because the Steelers won’t be able to afford the remaining years on his deal. In addition, should they claim a waived player, they would have to release one to make room for him.
Now, should Watkins wind up clearing waivers, which will probably happen; the Steelers can negotiate with him just like they would with any other free agent. However, I suspect that there will be several other teams that will be doing the same. Being as the Steelers would only need Watkins to be a backup that is willing to take the minimum, I think the former first-round draft pick will ultimately land somewhere else.
Last year, the Steelers got what they thought was a gift when they signed cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke after he surprisingly cleared waivers following his release from the Oakland Raiders, and they made room for him on the roster by placing guard David DeCastro on the injured reserve list with the designated to return tag. Looking back now, that gift wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
I’m not going to guarantee that we won’t see a player added from outside the organization over the course of the next week, but I don’t want you to get your hopes up just the same. Being as there are several teams right now around the league that are looking for offensive line and tight end depth just like the Steelers are, one would think that quality prospects will be gone quick.
So what about Max Starks, who was released recently by the San Diego Chargers? If you watched any of the Chargers preseason games, you would probably understand why he was released.
Like I said, don’t get your hopes up.