While it may remain true as it was last year that the Pittsburgh Steelers view Senquez Golson’s status for the 2017 season as potentially adding a second-round draft pick to the cornerback position, we have already highlighted the fact that the team remains apprehensive about his future, as they should following two years out of the game.
As general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters last week, “sitting out two years is a concern because we haven’t seen him. And when you don’t play, it’s not easy to step up and get caught up. It’s probably going to take him longer to get caught up to just being a football player”.
That isn’t exactly a comforting perspective on the 23-year-old’s situation, but it is a realistic one. The fact that he is still just 23 years old, however, is at least one bit of optimism, as is the fact that the two injuries that ended his first two seasons were unrelated to one another.
But the crux of the issue at this time of the year is obviously how Golson’s situation affects the Steelers’ roster-building plans as it relates to free agency and the draft. Colbert certainly sounded like their former second-round draft pick is not going to be taken as a given when evaluating the potential to add another player at the position.
“When a guy has been injured, you don’t want to refrain from adding a guy at that position just because there is potential that he could be okay”, he said. “Their health situation or their potential to help us won’t stop us from adding another player at anybody’s position”.
Colbert tried to make it sound like more of a global comment, but he really was talking here specifically about Golson and the cornerback position as it relates to the Steelers’ current roster makeup. The upside is that he can end up being a starter for the team this year, but they simply can’t know that in April, let alone in February, so they really are not considering his hypothetical contributions in the equation.
And that is, frankly, a refreshing answer, and an answer to a question that I already posed earlier this offseason. One of my daily questions that I presented several weeks ago was whether the Steelers would try to address the position in a serious way or would try to rely upon unproven talent like Golson and Justin Gilbert.
Well, since then, the Steelers have already released Gilbert—though not without potentially leaving the door open to him being re-signed—and Colbert’s comments to the media clearly rely the sense that they are not going to be swayed from signing a free agent or drafting a player because of Golson’s potential.