NFL Roster Cuts: Pittsburgh Steelers Make First Round of Cuts

By Curt Popejoy

When the turk comes around, you know the end is near. Today the turk made a visit to the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room as the team prepared to make its first round of NFL Roster Cuts, trimming the roster to 75 players. Before the start of the 2012 NFL season, the Steelers will have to trim even further to get to that final 53, and so this week was just the beginning.

Typically, there are two types of cuts in the first round. First are the guys who were camp bodies from the beginning. Guys who, from the beginning, you didn’t figure had a shot or got very little playing time during the preseason, so we all knew the end was near.

The other type is the guy who needed to be cut for the sake of other players.  This is a guy who’s maybe pushing for another position, and while they might have a shot at it, the staff knows it’s not going to happen, so it’s better to cut them loose in the first round and remove that pressure. The Steelers have guys who fall into both of those categories.

  • LB Ryan Baker
  • DT Mike Blanc
  • DT Kade Weston
  • WR Jimmy Young
  • WR Juamorris Stewart
  • WR Paul Cox
  • CB Andre Freeman
  • CB Walter McFadden
  • K Dan Hrapmann
  • LB Mortty Ivy
  • T Kyle Jolly
  • LS Matt Katula
  • TE Justin Peelle
  • TE Jamie McCoy
  • S Myron Rolle

The big surprise on this list for me is kicker Dan Harpmann. I honestly thought he had a real shot to win the starting kicker job and had done a solid job in preseason. This cut falls into that second category of a guy who they need to cut to let the incumbent know their job is safe.

I was also wondering if safety Myron Rolle might hang on, at least to the second round of cuts, but with the young players on the roster, his age was certainly a concern. Not to mention that, ever since Rolle was a star at Florida State, he’s never been able to show it in the NFL. I’ve always felt like because Rolle had so many other academic things going in his life, he was never able to focus on football, which is fine for him, as I’m sure he’ll be incredibly successful in the medical field, but I just have never felt like he had the focus on football to be a good NFL player.

A few others who I thought might have made it to the weekend were tight end Justin Peele, long snapper Matt Katula and cornerback Walter McFadden. In particular, McFadden, because the cornerback position is in a state of disarray at the moment and if I’m the coaching staff, I want to see as much of these players as possible.

The next round of cuts will be the ones that really matter. The Steelers are going to have to decide on who their no. 2 and no. 3 quarterbacks will be, which running backs will start opening weekend and who the depth in the defensive secondary will be. No big shockers today, but after this weekend’s game, I expect some major moves.

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