While I am a little bit surprised the Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed veteran offensive lineman Guy Whimper on Monday, I do understand the reasoning behind the move. In the grand scheme of things, however, I don’t think much should be read into him being re-signed.
Whimper, to his credit, played better than I expected he would last year when called upon. Hs best game in 2013 was against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7 when he replaced a banged up Marcus Gilbert at right tackle just eight plays into the game.
Whimper played at least a handful of snaps at four different positions on the Steelers offensive line last season and it was obvious that while he can play guard, he wasn’t overly good at it.
In short, Whimper is a right tackle only and the one-year deal he signed for the veteran minimum on Monday will barely make a dent in the Steelers salary cap after displacement. In addition, he should once again be considered a camp body right now with long odds to make the final 53 man roster.
So why sign him?
One would think the Steelers hope second-year guard Nik Embernate can pick up where he left off last year in training camp prior to suffering a season-ending knee injury. In addition, second-year guard Chris Hubbard also figures to fight Embernate for a spot on the 53 man roster as well. Bringing back Whimper will not only push those two players, but also provide some summer depth at the tackle positions.
As one reader pointed out, Whimper’s status this offseason now resembles that of Trai Essex a few years ago. Essex made it through training camp with the Steelers in 2012 before finally being released during the final round of cuts. I expect Whimper will meet that same fate this year. Of course that’s what I thought last year when he was signed.