Pittsburgh Steelers cutdown analysis

Check here for a full list of Pittsburgh’s roster moves.

Biggest surprise: Although it was somewhat expected this week, Justin Hartwig's release is the biggest for the Steelers. There is no doubt Hartwig was one of the team’s top 53 players, but he was released after losing his job to first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey. Hartwig also made starter money, an estimated $2 million. Kick returner Stefan Logan was solid last year, but his lack of versatility made him expendable. Pittsburgh will be looking for a new kick returner as a result. Both rookie receivers, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, made the team. Most projected Pittsburgh would only keep one and try to get the other on the practice squad.

No-brainers: Running back Justin Vincent showed a few flashes, particularly early in the preseason. But a crowded group of running backs in Pittsburgh made Vincent expendable. There were also a pair of recent draft picks who never panned out in cornerback Joe Burnett and offensive guard Kraig Urbik. Because of need, both players had chances to contribute to their respective positions but never developed. Rookie defensive lineman Doug Worthington is considered a project, and he’s a candidate for the practice squad.

What’s next: Pittsburgh’s veteran-laden roster is pretty much set. It doesn’t appear the team will make any major moves at quarterback following Byron Leftwich's injury. But the team could search the waiver wire for depth on the offensive line, which was inconsistent this preseason. With Frank Summers’ release, the team may also be in search for a fullback.