After escaping salary cap hell, completely rebuilding the defense on the fly over the last few years, and reaching the AFC Championship game in 2016, the Pittsburgh Steelers mean business in 2017. This past week, the Steelers parted ways with two talented players, who, due to health issues, are no longer capable of helping the Steelers get to where they want to be. The terminations of TE LaDarius Green and LS Greg Warren were a not so subtle message to everyone on the roster, that if you’re not healthy enough to be on the field, we will move on without you. The Steelers understand that injuries happen, but loyalties can only extend so far regarding what is in the best interests of both the player and the team.
In the case of LaDarius Green, a concern for his long term well being, due to numerous concussions during his abbreviated career, is what led to his release. Greg Warren, who enjoyed a 12 year career wrapped around two ACL surgeries, agreed with the Steelers that a mutual parting of the ways was in the best interest of his long term health. When it comes to players like CB Senquez Golson, releasing him would be in the best interest of the Steelers at this point, and could become a real possibility if he can’t get on the field in a meaningful way. Golson, a second round draft pick in 2015, has suffered two separate season ending injuries during his first two years, without having made it as far as the preseason.
Senquez Golson enters his third season with more questions surrounding him than incoming rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton does, and he absolutely can’t afford another injury or a setback from the previous two. Despite his talent and immense athletic ability, two years away from football activity can’t be a good thing when you are now competing with bigger and equally talented players for a job. IF Golson can stay healthy, how quickly he shakes off the rust could very well determine how long he sticks around. Despite his status as a second round draft pick, the Steelers don’t appear willing to wait on him much longer.
Dear Senquez, while you may be a second round draft pick, and extremely athletic, you have been absent for two years because of two unfortunate injuries. Despite two years of mental reps within the system, your onfield experience is essentially the same as those of rookies Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen. Chances are, if you don’t stay healthy and separate yourself enough from Allen, whose size and speed is intriguing to your employer, you may very well find yourself as the odd man out. Perhaps your best hope may be that the Steelers move an aging Willie Gay to safety. Perhaps the Steelers hope you perform well enough to allow them to move Gay. The point is, it’s time for you to get healthy, or you could find yourself on the chopping next.