Steelers 2-a-days: Javon Hargrave, Jerald Hawkins each in final year of contract | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Steelers 2-a-days: Javon Hargrave, Jerald Hawkins each in final year of contract

Chris Adamski
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave goes through drills during OTA work out May, 2019 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

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.

DL JAVON HARGRAVE

Experience: 4th season

Contract status: $2.2 million cap hit in 2019, after which hits unrestricted free agency

2019 outlook: It might not get the most publicity or move the proverbial needle, but perhaps the most impactful training-camp storyline is whether Hargrave earns a contract extension before the team-imposed deadline of the regular-season opener Sept. 8. It’s a fascinating case because Hargrave played just 43.6% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps last season. But he was third on the team in sacks (6 ½). That’s on par with T.J. Watt’s team-leading sacks-per-snap rate — and what makes it more impressive is that Hargrave is more likely to play on running downs than passing downs. Hargrave also is strong in the run game, and he’s proven reliable in the nickel rotation with Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. All that said, will the Steelers give big money to a guy who plays fewer than half their snaps?

OT JERALD HAWKINS

Experience: 4th season

Contract status: $852,000 million cap hit in 2019, after which hits unrestricted free agency

2019 outlook: Hawkins has had a unique career so far: he’s played only one season, but finds himself on the cusp of being eligible for unrestricted free agency. A shoulder injury cost him his 2016 rookie season and a quadriceps injury wiped out his 2018. But as a former fourth-round pick who started at LSU, Hawkins still is considered to have NFL starter-quality potential. The Steelers are giving him a chance to win the starting right tackle job, albeit it would be an upset if he does so. Hawkins seems to be getting prepped for a reserve swing-lineman role. He is someone to watch at training camp to see what role he ends up in.

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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