Steelers 2-a-days: Do Matt Feiler, B.J. Finney earn bigger roles after proving valuable OL backups?
Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2019 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly-alphabetical order, (at least) two per day, between June 14 and July 26.
OL MATT FEILER
Experience: Past two full seasons on Steelers’ active roster, previous three on practice squads
Contract status: $645,000 cap hit in 2019, restricted free agent after season
2019 outlook: After three years as a practice-squad player and a year-and-a-half proving value as a backup, Matt Feiler proved he could start in the NFL in 2018. But will he continue to get the chance to do that in 2019? After the trade of longtime right tackle Marcus Gilbert this spring, Feiler is the incumbent at the spot following his solid play in 10 games as the Steelers’ starting right tackle last season. He’s back on a bargain contract in 2019, but he’s not assured of keeping that gig. Feiler will be pushed by Chuks Okorafor, Jerald Hawkins and Zach Banner in what is the highest-profile position battle at camp.
Matt Feiler: "Beep beep!" pic.twitter.com/E5mvQZcA1m
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 7, 2018
G/C B.J. FINNEY
Experience: 4th season
Contract status: $3.095 million cap hit in 2019, unrestricted free agent after the season
2019 outlook: If there was any questioning B.J. Finney’s value to the Steelers the organization showed what it thinks he’s worth when it presented him a second-round tender as a restricted free agent earlier this year. That made Finney’s salary grow almost five-fold from last season and almost doubled his prior career earnings – and it also showed that the Steelers believe the rest of the league had taken notice of Finney, too. Finney will be an unrestricted free agent, though, after the season, meaning the Steelers almost can’t certainly bring him back — unless something changes. That could be injury to one of their interior starting linemen; filling in for them as needed is Finney’s role for now.
— Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) June 5, 2019
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .