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There are still one or two former players on the open market who deserve another shot in the NFL this year
While the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to Latrobe for the start of training camp on July 25, there are still several members of the 2018 version of that group looking for a home this offseason. The names include a former first-round draft pick as well as a Super Bowl winner, but with just days to go until the last few teams begin training, their chances of making a roster in 2019 are looking increasingly slim.
At 30-years-old with a Super Bowl ring on his finger and a 1000-yard season on his resume, it is perhaps something of a surprise to note that no one around the league has space on their roster for Ridley. With limited mileage on his body after four years of relative inactivity, it is hard to believe that Ridley is not capable of being the third choice running back on a depth chart somewhere. A sentiment the running back echoed in a recent social media post.
Sensabaugh may not have lit the world on fire with his level of play in 2018, but he was arguably far better than Artie Burns, and he still has a job with an NFL team. Much like Ridley, Sensabaugh is not going to be the stand out player wherever he ends up, but he is still good enough to make an opening day roster as the fourth or fifth choice option at cornerback. His coverage grade from Pro Football Focus last season suggests he still has value this year.
If there is a franchise still looking for a veteran leader in the locker room who can be a valuable contributor on special teams, Heyward-Bey should be the target. Unfortunately for him, his limited receiving numbers over the past four or five years do not indicate much of a weapon on offense anymore, but the 32-year-old wide receiver could still have a few years left in him on the right roster. While his experience will be missed in Pittsburgh, his hands probably will not. Heyward-Bey is still hopeful of at least one more season in 2019.
Making an argument for Hunter’s inclusion on a NFL roster is a difficult one to make after his first six seasons in the league. Despite being only 28-years-old, Hunter has shown little during his career to suggest that he will ever produce on game day, regardless of how well he practices. Seemingly unable to contribute on special teams, the wideout is unlikely to find another team willing to give him a shot in 2019 barring significant injuries to their receivers group.
Indeed, injuries may be the path back into the NFL for all of these players, with possibly a return to Pittsburgh on the cards later in the year should needs dictate additional signings. If you were forced to pick one player for the Steelers to sign in 2019, which one would be your choice?