Bouchette: Steelers TE Ladarius Green Will Remain On Roster

Due to his history of concussions, there’s been a lot of talk about Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green as to whether or not the team will keep him moving forward. However, during his weekly chat session on Tuesday, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that he believes Green isn’t going anywhere for the time being.

“The decision, I believe, has been made. He is on their roster and will remain there,” Bouchette wrote when asked about the future of Green with the Steelers. “No reason for them not to bring him back. His health will determine what happens from there.”

A few weeks ago during his annual talk with the Pittsburgh media, Steelers team president Art Rooney II was viewed as being non-committal about Green’s future with the team. Rooney said at the time that Green has a “physical condition” that the team needs to evaluate.

One would think that the offseason medical evaluation of Green will likely be completed by the time the 2017 NFL Draft rolls around and if the tight end is ultimately deemed to not be a big medical risk moving forward, it could result in his position being bypassed in the first few rounds and potentially all of them. Unfortunately for us on the outside of the organization, we might not really get an idea of just how secure Green’s future is in Pittsburgh until after the draft takes place.

With the start of the annual NFL scouting combine now just right around the corner, we can look forward to Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert holding his annual session with the media while he’s in Indianapolis and you can provably count on him being asked about Green during that time. Will he be forthcoming about Green’s medical evaluations? We’ll see, but I doubt we’ll learn much of anything new.

The Steelers have already invested $6 million in Green and they’re on schedule to spend $5 million more in him in 2017 as that’s what he’s set to earn this year. The Steelers 2016 free agent prize signing produced as the team hoped he would when he finally got on the field last season but that was only for a span of six regular season games.

It makes sense for the Steelers to do nothing with Green between now and the start of training camp in order to see how he does during the offseason training activities. Personally, I’d think long and hard about spending a draft pick on a tight end who has similar abilities as Green just in case.

  • steelburg

    I personally want them to move on. But at this point I think it’s really about them trying to salvage there investment. I don’t think he will hold up over the course of a whole season but I completely understand the decision. I’m still hoping for a late round pick like Jeremy Sprinkle at the position and I expect them to carry 4 TE’s again next year.

  • WreckIess

    Still the most confusing situation I’ve come across with this team. At times he looked and sounded irritated with the coaches for not letting him play. Every answer he gave to reporters regarding an injury would be something along the lines of “I feel fine, but it’s coach’s decision”. Makes me think he felt babied by the coaches almost. Like he thought he could play at times, but they didn’t see what they wanted out of him so they kept him shelved.

    Hopefully whatever the issue is gets resolved.

  • EdJHJr

    Not for nothing,after the Ravens game, I said he was done. Still believe it.

    I’m not against him, anything like that, my sense of watching him play, body language have told me that since he was on the field for the first time. Something was wrong.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I caught the body language too. I agree with you!

  • Jeff Papiernik

    This is why Jake Butt would be a good pick. He sits a year to recover from his injury while we give Green one more chance.

  • Matt Manzo

    Not really interested in what Bouchette “thinks”. I was hoping he had something a little more concrete. I agree with Dave that we have to at least look at the prospects with similar skills. An early season concussion for Green and he’s done.

  • nutty32

    That’s S.O.P. for most teams in terms of what players are taught to say to reporters regarding injuries. Not odd in the slightest.

  • nutty32

    Keeping him is a no-brainer. Most of his 2017 salary is already guaranteed so not much to lose by waiting and seeing what happens.

  • Joecool328

    I watched Green play with San Diego and was excited to see what he could do for us. He doesn’t look like the same player . . . while he caught a couple passes, something is still off.
    I agree with you guys mentioning the body language, if he’s not done, he’s not far from it.

  • WreckIess

    Not the same. There were times when he pretty openly conflicted what Tomlin was saying. When he was out with the ankle in TC, he said it was fine and that he felt he could be taken off the PUP. Then Tomlin would say it wasn’t where it needed to be. Their answers disagreed seemingly like they were in disagreement.

  • CP72

    I understand your thought process. I just think even at 100% healthy Butt lacks the speed to be the seam buster we need in the offense.

  • SMH If this guy can heal, he’d be great for us. Too many injuries. We’ll see.

  • steelburg

    I agree. I just feel like we have already developed James into what we will all see from Butt in the NFL. James ran a 4.83 at the combine, but people forget that he ran a 4.69 at his pro day. If Butt was healthy I would have expected him to run in that same range as James which is anywhere between a 4.69-4.83. If you ask me we already have a Jake Butt type of talent in James therefore we don’t need another one in Butt.

  • SteelersDepot

    None of his salary is guaranteed for 2017

  • PaeperCup

    Is it coaches decision, or league/doctors decision? My understanding was that he didn’t clear concussion protocol right…I thought that was out of the coaches hands.

  • Brian Miller

    Assuming his off the field issues are explained reasonably?

  • Brian Miller

    What are the contract ramifications if we cut him before the draft versus after (June 1), because if nothing else it acts as a smoke screen to other teams thinking we will keep him and not try and draft one early.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Have we all completely forgotten about Xavier Grimble?
    And Outlaw is going to likely do nothing except get better.

    I’m totally confused by the constant drumbeat for us to HAVE to draft a TE. ESPECIALLY if we end up keeping Green. The trio of Green/James/Grimble is all we need at TE.

    I get not thinking we can rely on Green at this point, but let’s not look right past what he DID do for us for that limited time he was on the field. Was he the second coming of Gonzalez or Gates? No. But I liked what I saw. My only consideration, outside of being on the inside and getting to know the info about his true health, would be the contract. A post June cut saves us a cool 5 mill I believe. That isn’t anything to sneeze at if we suddenly get scrunched by the Tuitt, Brown, Bell, Harrison, Timmons deals. Other than that, if we DO have those 3 going into the draft, there is no way I spend a top 5 rounds pick on a TE. We have too many other holes that need to get filled for a championship run.

  • ryan72384

    I thought Green looked done the first time he played last season. Looks completely hesitant and unsure like he’s just waiting to be knocked out. Everytime he got tackled I would always say please get up because he was definitely a difference maker when he was out there but he just looks broken beyond repair.

  • 4th round is probably earliest I would go. Greens situation makes it impossible to know for sure though

  • No ifs ands or Butts.

  • I didn’t think about it at the time but you’re right. His body language really did seem off. He was hype or excited or anything. Not that he has to be. Just seemed mopey. I don’t mean that to be disrespectful towards him either. Just an observation. His interviews always left me feeling the same way. Then again he has been through a lot so who knows

  • If he could just pull through, we would all be such big fans you know. All we want him to do is put it together on the field. He’s a beast in Madden I know that much, lol

  • Bradys_Dad

    I truly, truly hate to be so pessimistic about Green but even if he were to make it through training camp and through the few snaps he’d get in the pre-season, he’d end up getting his bell rung in the first game of the season and be a skidmark on the bench for the rest of 2017. He’s just too dang expensive of an experiment anymore. He should get out now before he ends up carrying around a drool bucket and wearing signs proclaiming that the end is near.

  • RickM

    With Green I’ve just adopted the attitude: ‘You know he isn’t retiring and the Steelers will give him a second year. So expect nothing and anything will be a bonus.’ One year of rollercoaster emotions with him is enough.

  • walter

    But he also said he doesnt argue with the doctors. That means he didnt tell the doctors that he felt fine and wanted to play. One day after the loss to the Patriots, he announces he is ready to play. Bad timing IMO left me shaking my head in disbelief.

  • walter

    I noticed that too. Green was very careful with what he said. But my impression was that he was shifting the blame to someone else.

  • nutty32

    Wow. Maybe I’ve been reading contracts wrong all this time. Thought he got a 4.75 signing bonus plus 4.75 guaranteed. Guess the signing bonus and the guarantee refer to the same 4.75 (v. 9.5 total cash guaranteed to come his way)? He “only” made 1.25 in salary in 2016. There should be 3.5 left if the signing bonus is a true bonus and not part of the guarantee?

  • Alan Tman

    I think he should stay , but he needs to take a pay cut.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    whether or not he stays they need to take shaheen.

  • MintDragon

    A healthy Butt is a happy Butt. Let’s not get Butt hurt. We should think about bringing back Willie Colon as well, he could really open some holes for him.

  • John Pennington

    Cant depend on Green and with a good tightend class the steelers need to get one of these guys.Sometimes you have to be smart cant bet on if a player can make it back or one hit and be done for who knows when plus to much money on a broken player.Time to move on from these guys who are always hurt.

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