It's time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to move closer to their 53-man roster as they cut five more players on Tuesday, Aug. 24, by 4 p.m. ET.
The Steelers have already trimmed their 90-man roster to 85 and will now shorten that list to 80 by the end of Tuesday. While not all the big name-cuts will happen this time around, there is some expectation this team moves on from at least one name many hoped to play a pivotal role this season.
Pittsburgh will finalize its 53-man roster next week before preparing for Week 1 of the regular season. For now, they're focused on cutting five, and it'll likely be these five.
Tony Brooks-James, Running Back
The Steelers didn't cut a running back the first time around, but they've hit a point where there are too many to go around. They'll continue to wait for Benny Snell Jr. to return from injury but will still be able to move on from at least one back.
Brooks-James has contributed during preseason games, leading the team rushing against the Philadelphia Eagles with nine rushes for 51 yards.
It won't be enough, though. The Steelers have their eyes set on a four-man backfield that will feature Najee Harris, Anthony McFarland and two others. Kalen Ballage, Jaylen Samuels and Snell are all ahead of Books-James on that list.
Malcolm Pridgeon, Guard
Pridgeon snuck through the first round of cuts, but the Steelers will need to begin cutting their offensive line down, and the guard is on the bottom of the list for those they believe will contribute in 2021.
With B.J. Finney and Rashaad Coward still competing for the swing-guard spot behind Kevin Dotson and Trai Turner, Pridgeon is out. At 6'7, 310-pounds, however, he could find himself being a hot name on the open market following this second round of cuts.
Ulysees Gilbert III, Inside Linebacker
UGIII has gone from someone this team hoped could be the answer to their coverage issues outside of Devin Bush, to being left off the field in their third preseason game.
Gilbert has struggled during training camp and in the preseason. For how much athleticism he has, his lack of natural instinct on the inside leaves him a step behind in coverage and rarely ever making splash plays.
The Steelers have five inside linebackers they'll likely keep this season, and Calvin Bundage has caught the attention of special teams coordinator Danny Smith. Gilbert is the odd man out and likely the biggest name in this second round of cuts.
Marcus Baugh, Tight End
Baugh's tenure in Pittsburgh started late, arriving after the team placed Dax Raymond on waived/injured. It was hard to catch traction for a tight end that showed up to play behind four other players, but Baugh tried.
There was never a moment you forgot about Baugh. He constantly saw playing time with the backups and even appeared in this past preseason game.
Unfortunately, the Steelers don't need five tight ends moving forward when they're trying to decide which of the four they're going to keep.
Tyler Simmons, Wide Receiver
The Steelers will begin weeding through the wide receivers in the next two weeks, and it's going to lead to a lot of names that shined during camp to be free agents by the end of the month.
Simmons was impressive enough to be mentioned by Mike Tomlin a few times during training camp and catch the team's first preseason touchdown. However, there was never a real shot for any of the undrafted wideouts to make this team if they weren't going to shine on special teams.
He might, however, have done enough to be a target for the other 31 teams looking for receivers.
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