Defensive end Stephon Tuitt is heading out of Pittsburgh. Or, at least, he’s selling his home — which usually indicates one thing: He could be through with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Steelers Now reported that Tuitt’s Pine Township home is under contract to be sold. According to real estate and property records Steelers Now obtained, the house was listed for sale on January 16 and placed under contract on January 22.
If this is it for Tuitt in a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform, it’s certainly been a weird ending.
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After a career 11-sack season in 2020, Tuitt spent the entirety of the 2021 season on injured reserve with a knee injury. When asked during press conferences throughout the season, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin declined to go into details.
Stephon Tuitt’s Impact
Tuitt was one of the most impactful interior defensive linemen in the league, and, consequently, his void had a significant effect on the Steelers’ defensive production. CBS Sports Jason LaConfora called Tuitt “one of the more irreplaceable players” on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster, and that was proven in the 2021 season.
“His ability to stuff the run and also collapse the pocket presented unique challenges to opposing linemen,” LaConfora wrote.
According to NFL.com, the Steelers were 32nd versus the run last season, allowing 2,483 yards (146 per game) and 17 touchdowns. A boggling league-high 24 of their opponents’ 498 attempts went for 20+ yards. The run defense was much more stout in 2020. With Tuitt in the lineup, the unit allowed just 1,783 yards (111 yards per game) and 13 scores — good for 11th in the league.
The knee wasn’t the only setback for Tuitt this past offseason. He was also dealing with insurmountable loss in his personal life, which has been speculated to have taken more of a toll than the injury.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know how I’d handle my mom watching her son die,” then-Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler shared in a September 1 press conference. “I don’t know if I could handle that.”
Tuitt’s younger brother, Richard Bartlett III, was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident in June 2021. Bartlett, 23, was struck by an oncoming car while helping his girlfriend with a mattress strapped to the top of her car.
Butler, who retired on January 22, was a guest on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan on January 25 and had this to say when asked if Tuitt would be returning to the Steelers in 2022: “I really don’t know,” said Butler.
“That’s going to be up to Mr. [Art] Rooney. I have no idea. I don’t know where he is set mentally. That’s something very private that and we didn’t know a whole lot about it. We just took it for granted that what happened to him and his family was very hard on him, and he struggled with it. I hope he comes back for the team. I don’t know if he will. We’ll see what happens.”
According to OverTheCap.com, Tuitt is projected to make $13.9 million against the cap next year (third-highest on Steelers roster). His contract includes voidable years from 2023 through 2025 and a cap charge of $4.75 million in 2023.
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