Steelers Make ‘Surprise’ Cut at Inside Linebacker: Report

Mike Tomlin

Getty Head coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers released inside linebacker Tanner Muse on August 28.

The Pittsburgh Steelers roster cuts began with a bit of a shock on August 28.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Steelers waived veteran inside linebacker Tanner Muse.

Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora called the move “a surprise release.”

“Signed to a one-year deal this offseason from the Seattle Seahawks, Muse was added as inside linebacker depth and special teams help,” Kozora wrote. “He had a good summer and played well across the team’s three preseason games, one of the top leaders in special teams snaps.

“It’s possible he could circle back to the team if he clears waivers.”

The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly reported that in addition to Muse, the Steelers also cut quarterback Tanner Morgan, running back Darius Hagans, offensive linemen Le’Raven Clark and Williams Dunkle, defensive lineman Manny Jones, linebacker Toby Ndukwe, cornerback Lavert Hill and safeties Jalen Elliott and Kenny Robinson.

With those cuts, the Steelers roster is down to 70 players, according to’s Joe Rutter.

In 17 games with the Seattle Seahawks last season, Muse posted 16 combined tackles and 1 pass defense.

Steelers Cut ILB Tanner Muse

Kozora tweeted that the first batch of cuts weren’t all that surprising with Muse being the lone exception. Kozora projected that the 26-year-old linebacker would make the team’s final roster.

Ndukwe was another linebacker the Steelers cut on August 28, but Ndukwe lined up as an edge rusher while Muse was an inside linebacker. With the first round of cuts, Muse was the only inside linebacker the Steelers released.

Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, Kwon Alexander, Mark Robinson and Nick Kwiatkoski are the inside linebackers that remain on Pittsburgh’s roster.

Holcomb, Roberts, and Alexander are locks to make the roster. Barring injuries, they will receive a bulk of the snaps in the middle of the Steelers defense this season.

Robinson is also expected to make the team. Pittsburgh drafted him in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft, but The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac has reported multiple times this offseason that the team is high on the former late Day 3 selection.

With the release of Muse, it’s much more likely the Steelers find a roster spot for Kwiatkoski. The NFL roster cut deadline is August 29 at 4 pm ET.

Steelers Make First Cuts After Trading Guard Kevin Dotson

Pittsburgh’s first round of cuts came less than 24 hours after the team traded starting guard Kevin Dotson.

Kozora projected Dotson as a potential trade candidate because he predicted the guard not to make Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster.

Dotson started all 17 games at left guard last season. He also started nine games at left guard in 2021 and split time at left and right guard, making four starts, in 2020.

But the Steelers replaced Dotson when they signed left guard Isaac Seumalo in free agency. Pittsburgh also added reserve guard Nate Herbig in free agency, making Dotson expendable.

The Steelers drafted Dotson in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft. He played 39 games, including making 30 starts, for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers shipped Dotson to the Los Angeles Rams, and the two teams agreed to exchange draft picks. Kaboly reported the Steelers will receive Los Angeles’ 2024 fourth-round and 2025 fifth-round picks while the Rams will get Pittsburgh’s 2024 fifth-round and 2025 sixth-round choices.

Kaboly also reported that the Steelers saved $2.75 million against the salary cap by trading Dotson.

After the trade and first round of cuts, the Steelers have 11 offensive linemen remaining on their roster.

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