5 Pittsburgh Steelers Who Shouldn’t Be Back in 2014

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5 Pittsburgh Steelers Who Shouldn't Be Back in 2014

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers finished the 2013 season in rather good fashion. After starting 0-4, the Steelers still finished the regular season at 8-8 and were a missed field goal away from sneaking into the playoffs. The Steelers are a model franchise in the NFL, but the organization has not competed in the playoffs since 2011 when they were defeated in overtime by Tim Tebow in the Wild-Card round. Changes have to be made. But even though the Steelers have had two consecutive down years, a playoff berth in 2014 isn't out of the question.

In fact, the Steelers have already made an alteration; offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. was fired on Jan. 3 after spending just one season with the team. Bicknell Jr. was supposed to make the Steelers a zone-blocking team, but that never came to fruition. And as the season wore on, Bicknell Jr.'s role diminished. Steelers' offensive assistant Shaun Sarrett was more involved with the offensive line than Bicknell Jr. over the course of the second half of the season.

The 2013 offseason was interesting for Pittsburgh and the 2014 offseason will be as well. Just like last year's offseason, the team has to deal with salary cap issues and a bundle of free agents. The Steelers are dishing out major cash to Ben Roethlisberger, Ike Taylor, LaMarr Woodleyand Lawrence Timmons, and all of those players could wind up having their contracts restructured. LaMarr Woodley should be first in line, as he had a down year in 2013.

And of course, there are some players who just simply shouldn't stick around.

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5. FS Ryan Clark

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Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Clark is 34-years-old and showed signs of decline in the 2013 season. Clark blew a countless amount of coverages, and he wasn't very good in run support. There's no reason he should be kept in Pittsburgh.

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4. CB Curtis Brown

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers selected Curtis Brown in the third-round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and he surely hasn't panned out. Brown has been nothing more than a special teams player. Furthermore, last season he injured his ACL, causing him to miss most of the season.

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3. CB Ike Taylor

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Ike Taylor isn't a good No.1 cornerback anymore. He gave up over a combined 300 yards of receiving to Calvin Johnson and Josh Gordon. Taylor is due to make $7 million in 2014; he must either have his contract restructured or be cut. He's surely not worth $7 million, and honestly, he shouldn't even be playing in 2014.

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2. TE/FB David Johnson

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

David Johnson is a versatile player, but he has been put on injured reserve two years in a row. The Steelers should stop attempting to get something out of him.

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1. WR Emmanuel Sanders

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Sanders has been nothing but hype. Sanders finished the 2013 season with 740 yards receiving and six touchdowns, but he was expected to have over 1,000 yards of receiving. Sanders enters free agency this offseason which will likely end his tenure with the Steelers. He will probably want more money than the Steelers are willing to pay. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter; Pittsburgh has Markus Wheaton waiting in the wings, and veteran Jerricho Cotchery should be staying as well.


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