With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: TE Ladarius Green
Stock Value: Sold
Well, this is new territory for the column, which we began doing just last year. The Steelers essentially sold low yesterday on the stock value of tight end Ladarius Green after buying high a year ago. They went into a four-year, $20 million deal with him, though with only $6 million committed through the first season, and that is ultimately what he will have cost the team.
But that price comes at a rate of $1 million per game, because he was limited to just six game due to a combination of an ankle injury and a concussion that caused him to miss 13 games between the regular season and the playoffs.
Pittsburgh was hoping to find in Green a starting tight end who would serve as a dynamic presence between the hash marks and could stretch the seams. That is what he showed that he was capable of doing when he did finally recover from the ankle injury that saw him spent the first eight weeks of the season on the PUP List, but his season, and perhaps his career, ended on a scary note before the year was through.
After completing an important catch against the Bengals that essentially sealed a comeback victory and set up a crucial Christmas Day match against the Ravens the following week, Green braced for head-to-head impact with Cincinnati’s George Iloka, also subsequently hitting his head on the ground, suffering a concussion.
It was his fourth confirmed, and clearly the most severe, concussion documented over the course of his professional football career, and it was presumably the trigger for his failed physical yesterday, which resulted in him being released.
One could easily draw the conclusion that he will retire after this, although it is not a guarantee. Many other players with lengthy concussion histories have attempted to continue to play despite their better judgement, with Austin Collie arguably the most famous case.
They did get out of him arguably one of the better receiving games out of a tight end in franchise history against the Giants, at least, which was nice. With his stock off the market now, however, we will subsequently see a rise in value across the board at the tight end position, which I’ll get to in the coming days.