Steelers Release ‘Cheddar Bob,’ 8 Other Players

Mathew Sexton Steelers

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Mathew Sexton of the Pittsburgh Steelers during training camp at Heinz Field on July 28, 2021.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced another set of cuts, releasing nine players to get down to a roster size of 71.

Arguably the most notable name on the list is wide receiver Mathew Sexton (aka Cheddar Bob), who looked like he had an outside chance to make the roster as a kick returner. That is, until he muffed two punts in the fourth preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

The other players released were:

Tight end Marcus Baugh
Running back Tony Brooks-James
Cornerback Shakur Brown
Defensive tackle T.J. Carter
Wide receiver Anthony Johnson
Cornerback Lafayette Pitts
Offensive guard Malcolm Pridgeon
Safety Lamont Wade

No Surprise Cuts, Really

It’s hard to say there were any surprises in this latest round of cuts. For example, tight end Marcus Baugh faced an uphill battle from the moment he signed in late July, as there were already four roster or practice squad worthy tight ends on the roster in Eric Ebron, Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader.

Similarly, former Atlanta Falcons running back Tony Brooks-James—who joined the team in early August–faced a numbers game as well, as rookie first-round pick Najee Harris is the starter and Anthony McFarland Jr. and Kalen Ballage look like the primary backups. Meanwhile, former mid-round picks Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels have always been the leading contenders for the fourth and final spot, assuming the Steelers keep four tailbacks.

Some observers will no doubt be disappointed that cornerback Shakur Brown—an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State who is said to play like an angry hornet—failed to make it beyond this round of cuts, but there still seems a decent chance he could be signed to the practice squad. After all, he projects as a slot cornerback, and the Steelers need to find an extended-term solution at that position now that Mike Hilton is playing for Cincinnati. Keep in mind, too, that Hilton spent his rookie season on and off various practice squads before he established himself with the Steelers in 2017.

And while most of the names on the above list got a relatively long look (having been signed in the spring), a few had little time in which to impress. That includes former Dolphins/Jaguars/Bill cornerback Lafayette Pitts, who was signed on Aug. 6. Former Ohio State offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon had even less time to try to establish himself, as he didn’t sign until Aug. 9.

Of course, some of the above names figure to catch on with teams that have less depth than the Steelers. Keep in mind that several of the players that Pittsburgh released earlier this month already have new jobs, including Stephen Denmark and Abudullah Anderson, both of whom joined the Packers.

More Steelers Cuts Are Coming Sunday thru Tuesday

Prior to Saturday afternoon, the Steelers had already made two rounds of cuts, releasing five players on Tues. Aug. 17 and another five on Tues. Aug. 24.

All NFL teams must be at the mandatory 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on Tues., Aug. 31.

Pittsburgh will be able to sign a total of 16 players to its practice squad on Wed., Sept. 1, after released players clear waivers.

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