The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten the roster down to 75 and have until 6 p.m. on Saturday to trim it down to the final 53.
Though there were a few surprises in the first round of cuts, the team still has some really tough decisions to make in regards to what the final roster is going to look like.
Here are five of the toughest cuts that the Steelers will have to make after their last preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.
Other than a badly missed assignment on the blocked punt against the Giants, Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith has actually had a very good training camp.
The team has kept an extra safety in the past because of various injuries to the position. But this year, everyone has been healthy and playing well.
That’s a great thing for the Steelers because they need Troy Polamalu to be able to fly around the field and make plays on defense this season.
The only thing that could save Cromartie-Smith from being cut is the fact that he is a good special teams player.
The cornerback battle has been a tough one to call because of all the injuries that were sustained to start camp.
Victorian hasn’t looked terrible, but he was given a huge opportunity to step up and distinguish himself this summer, and he failed to do so.
Like with Cromartie-Smith, Victorian’s biggest enemy right now is the fact that everyone has come back healthy this year.
I see the team keeping Curtis Brown and Terry Hawthorne ahead of Victorian, and a big reason for that is because Victorian is not a very good special teams player.
The Steelers have been looking for an eventual replacement for the 34-year-old Brett Keisel, and fans have not been enamored with the likes of Ziggy Hood or Cameron Heyward so far.
Brian Arnfelt was seen as a long shot to make this roster when camp started, but he has flashed almost every time he’s been given the opportunity.
The team may not have a the roster space to keep an extra defensive end, though, and Arnfelt is more likely to get stashed on the practice squad for this season.
The competition between Derek Moye and Justin Brown may just come down to the final preseason game against the Panthers.
Both have shown potential, but Moye looks like he is ahead of Brown at this point and caught three passes for 41 yards last week versus the Chiefs.
Honestly, I would keep Brown instead of Moye because of Brown’s ability to return kicks, but I think the team will instead try to keep him on the practice squad for his rookie year.
This could possibly be the toughest decision of all.
All of the young linebackers on the roster have looked good so far, and the final positional spot is pretty much wide open with the release of Stevenson Sylvester.
Marshall McFadden is a lock to make the roster, and Vince Williams seems to be ahead of Rolle at this point.
This could be the year the team decides to keep a fifth inside linebacker, but in my opinion, I think they would keep another linebacker like Alan Baxter—or perhaps even the previously mentioned Arnfelt—before keeping Rolle.
The only thing in Rolle’s favor right now is the fact that the other guys can be put on the practice squad, but he is no longer eligible to do so.