Steelers offseason positional outlook: Interior offensive line |

Steelers offseason positional outlook: Interior offensive line

Chris Adamski

Editor’s note: This is sixth of a 12-part series breaking down the Pittsburgh Steelers at each position in the offseason. All salary cap information courtesy

Over the past 18 months, the long and prosperous Pittsburgh sports tenures of the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury, James Harrison and Andrew McCutchen came to an end. In the coming months, another Steel City professional sports mainstay is expected to move on, too.

Largely as a function of the nondescript position he plays, Ramon Foster’s possible departure from the Steelers probably won’t get the attention or elicit the emotion that the goodbyes of Fleury or McCutchen did from the Penguins and Pirates, respectively. But how many players in the histories of any of the three major local professional sports teams were starters over a 10-season span?

An undrafted free agent in 2009, Foster has appeared in 146 games and started 131, including at guard for five postseason teams. He’s been a rock at left guard since 2013, but at 33 and with his contract expiring it would seem difficult to envision the Steelers bringing him back under the kind of contract terms he likely could fetch elsewhere – particularly when there is an in-house replacement ready.

B.J. Finney has started at least one game at each of the three interior line positions over the past there seasons (nine starts total), and the 2015 undrafted free agent has shown he’s capable. At 27 and facing free agency of his own after this season, the Steelers probably feel it’s Finney’s time.

Now, do they believe in him enough so that they’ll give him a contract extension this spring? If the organization is truly committed to moving on from Foster, that’s a possibility, the idea being to lock Finney up now (he’s a restricted free agent) before his leverage increases after a year as a starter and with the open market (unrestricted free agency) staring him in the face.

The only other possible internal candidate to start at guard with regular-season game experience is Matt Feiler, who started 10 games at right tackle in 2018 but had spent most of the previous three years with the Steelers as a practice-squad guard. Feiler, though, might be in the running to be Marcus Gilbert’s successor at right tackle.

Outside of the situation at left guard, the biggest offseason storyline for the Steelers on the interior of their offensive line is hammering out a contract extension for center Maurkice Pouncey.

Last week, Pouncey was named the second-team All Pro center for 2018, his fifth All Pro honor over the seven seasons he’s played. Although he turns 30 the week the Steelers are set to report to training camp, he’s as valuable in the locker room as he is on the field and the team almost certainly would prefer to lock him up for the longterm.

Last month added to his fourth consecutive AFC Pro Bowl roster, right guard David DeCastro is signed through 2021.


Offseason outlook: Guards/centers


• G David DeCastro, 3 years left on contract, $11.97 million cap hit for 2019

• C Maurkice Pouncey, 2 years left on contract, $11.5 million cap hit for 2019

• R.J. Prince, practice squad

• Patrick Morris, practice squad


Free agents

• G Ramon Foster, unrestricted, $3.59 million cap hit in 2018

• G/C B.J. Finney, restricted, $630,000 cap hit in 2018

• *-G/T Matt Feiler, exclusive-rights, $555,000 cap hit in 2018

(*-Also listed as tackle)

Up Next: Defensive line

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

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

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

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.