Re: New Roster Prediction after Eagles game
The Steelers must keep either 6 DL, 5 WR, or 3 RB in order to carry SEVEN CBs, not 8.
The Steelers are guaranteed to carry 3 QBs. Add to that 3 ST. Then 8 LBs. Then 9 OL. Then 4 S. Then 3 TE. These are positional numbers that are pretty stable as locks, meaning that it is highly unlikely that they carry more or less than these numbers. That leaves 23 spots for RB, WR, DL, and CB:
One of these positions will have to carry one less player than one would like (3 RB instead of 4, 5 WR instead of 6, 6 DL instead of 7, 6 CB instead of 7). It is difficult to determine the odd man out based on both positional need and who the actual player in question is. In this instance, it is Jonathan Dwyer, Arnaz Battle, McLendon/Bryant/Gray, and Butler/Warren/Allen. In my opinion, it is more crucial to carry 7 DL than to have maximal capacity at the other positions due to the age of the NTs on the roster. So in my scenario, that leaves 16 spots for RB, WR, and CB. CB is a positional weakness in general for the Steelers and they harbor a number of younger players with undeveloped potential, so I feel it's important to carry as much of them as possible, where at least one of Butler, Warren, and Allen will have to be sacrificed just to carry 7. So that leaves 9 spots between RB and WR.
I'm honestly not sure which spot I believe to be more valuable. It would be difficult for either to get a helmet on gameday, so having a special teams ace that makes $1M+ as the 6th receiver is a difficult proposition. On the other hand, Jonathan Dwyer has shown an improvement, significantly, in his game without the ball in his hands, and this includes special teams play. He has shown a willingness and ability to block and a willingness and ability to play special teams, so if a 4th RB can play special teams, I believe that is more valuable than a 6th WR that can play special teams. Dwyer can step in to be the #2 pure runner should Mendenhall or Redman get injured during the season. However, if Ward, Wallace, or Sanders get injured, it would be Brown and Cotchery taking their place. Using this analysis, I conclude that Arnaz Battle no longer needs his roster spot, especially if new young players like Chris Carter and Curtis Brown prove to be the special teamers they have purported to be.