The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac asked on Twitter whether the Pittsburgh Steelers trading guard Kevin Dotson on August 27 was going to save a spot for fellow guard Kendrick Green on the team’s 53-man roster.
As it turned out, the answer was no.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on August 29 that the Steelers agreed to trade Green to the Houston Texans. Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Steelers will receive a 2025 sixth-round pick in return for the third-year guard.
The trade marks the end of Green’s tenure in Pittsburgh, which was certainly a unique one.
“The Kendrick Green wild ride has come to an end,” The Score’s Daniel Valente wrote on Twitter. “One of the more baffling Steelers’ picks and developments of the late Kevin Colbert GM tenure.”
Steelers Give Up on 3rd-Round Pick Kendrick Green
After the Steelers drafted him at No. 87 overall in the 2021 NFL draft, Green started 15 games at center as a rookie in 2021. But last season, he didn’t dress for a single game.
The Steelers then gave Green snaps at full back during this year’s training camp. The move caused a stir in the media, but ultimately didn’t amount to much.
But Kaboly and Pryor each had Dotson on the 53-man roster. After the Steelers traded Dotson to the Los Angeles Rams, Dulac asked on Twitter whether there was now room for Green on the Pittsburgh roster.
The Steelers cut offensive linemen Le’Raven Clark and William Dunkle on August 28, leaving 11 offensive linemen on the roster. Dulac predicted that the ninth and final offensive line spot would go to either Green or center Ryan McCollum.
The decision to keep McCollum, assuming that’s what happens, rather than Green may have come down to McCollum’s versatility. He can play both center and guard while Green has mostly only played center at the NFL level.
“Position flexibility — the ability to play more than one position — is what the Steelers are seeking from their backup offensive linemen,” wrote Dulac.
That fact wasn’t lost on Green.
“You got to be able to do it if you’re not a starter,” Green told Dulac. “That’s what you got to be able to do. I’m just trying to be available wherever and whenever. Just be flexible.”
To Green’s credit, he tried full back when the team requested it. But he hasn’t played guard consistently since college.
At Illinois, Green actually played almost entirely at guard. But the Steelers asked him to switch to center as a rookie to replace retired Maurkice Pouncey.
Pro Football Focus ranked Green 17th out of 18 centers who played at least 80% of his team’s offensive snaps in 2021. The following offseason, the Steelers signed Mason Cole to replace Green at center.
Steelers’ Offensive Line Depth Heading Into 2023 Season
Pittsburgh’s offensive line has made a major jump on paper in a single year. Last offseason, Green and Dotson competed for the starting left guard job, but this year, neither was good enough to make Pittsburgh’s roster.
Isaac Seumalo, who the Steelers signed in free agency, will start at left guard. Nate Herbig, who Pittsburgh also acquired in free agency, will serve as a backup interior lineman. Herbig can play both center and guard.
The Steelers probably have one more choice to make at offensive line for their final 53-man roster. Starters Dan Moore, Mason Cole, James Daniels Chukwuma Okorafor, and Seumalo are locks to make the roster. Herbig and first-round pick Broderick Jones are pretty much locks as well.
Presumably the last two roster spots on the offensive line will come down to McCollum, Spencer Anderson and Dylan Cook.