Saturday Night Open Thread: Rookie Minicamp Edition


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Come and join this merry band of Steelers’ faithful for some lively debate about our Steelers, good food and the merits of the odd cold beverage.

It’s a beautiful day here in the wonderful North.

Surely you can picture me sitting outside the igloo and enjoying a screaming hot cup of coffee. The solar panels are out charging the laptop. I will be hunting caribou later on this afternoon before eating a Saturday feast of salted cod and potatoes.

Anyway, enough of life up here in the real original frozen tundra…

  1. The NFL and the NFLPA have decided to go to war over ‘off site workouts’ in lieu of OTA’s and such. Pick a side and defend the position.
  2. Based on last year’s starting lineup, offseason moves and now the draft, which starter from last year should be most worried about his position come September?
  3. Let’s change gears here a bit and talk hockey! Pittsburgh Penguins hockey specifically, how far do you predict they will go? Gasp… will they lose again to those annoying Islanders??
  4. I just read an article about how the consumption of beef is down from pre COVID times. What do you think is behind this? Fewer steak dinners at that great steakhouse downtown? Price of beef going up? People wanting to reduce their carbon footprint?
  5. Going to be spending time in the garden today. In fact, off to get some top soil now and then a yard of mulch as well. Do you garden? If so, what? Fruits? Veggies? Flowers? If not, why not and what’s in the back yard instead?

Steelers CB Justin Layne Pleads Guilty To Three Misdemeanors

May 11: In an effort to resolve his legal situation as expeditiously as possible, Layne recently pled guilty to three misdemeanor charges — possession of criminal tools, speeding, and driving without an operator’s license — as Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk details. He received a six-month suspended sentence, but he will not serve any of that sentence if he pays a $500 fine, forfeits a handgun, and performs 32 hours of community service.

Theoretically, Layne could still be suspended by the league, but getting rid of the felony charge that he was facing can’t hurt. With the offseason departures of Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton, Layne stands to get an uptick in playing time in 2021.

Apr. 24: Steelers cornerback Justin Layne has found himself in hot water. The 23-year-old was arrested early Friday morning “on suspicion of felony transportation of a firearm inside of a vehicle,” per ESPN’s Ben Baby.

Layne was also charged with a pair of misdemeanors: “driving with a suspended license and exceeding speed limits.” According to police, the player was pulled over after he was observed going 89 miles per hour in a 60 mph zone. Police searched the car after smelling marijuana, and they proceeded to find a loaded pistol (via NFL.com). The player didn’t have the proper license for a conceal-carry permit. Layne later acknowledged the gun was his.

Police also learned that Layne “had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a traffic violation in another jurisdiction.” Following his arrest, he was granted release on a personal bond, with his next court appearance coming in early May.

“We are aware of the incident but still gathering information,” the Steelers said in a statement. “We will have no further comment at this time.”

Following a standout career at Michigan State, Layne was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2019 draft. After barely playing during his rookie season (despite officially appearing in 10 games), he saw more time on the field in 2020. He finished this year having appeared in all 16 games, collecting 22 tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Steelers Sign S Arthur Maulet, Cut CB Trevor Williams And S John Battle

The Steelers made a trio of moves in their secondary as we head into the weekend. Pittsburgh signed safety Arthur Maulet while cutting cornerback Trevor Williams and safety John Battle, they announced Friday.

It’s a one-year deal with Maulet, who was with the Jets the past two seasons. Originally an UDFA with the Saints back in 2017, Maulet started a game for the Colts in 2018, but really found his footing in the league with New York in 2019. He appeared in 23 games and started 11 for the Jets over the past two years. In 11 games and five starts in 2020, he had 29 tackles, a sack, five passes defended, and an interception. He entered the league a little older than most so the Memphis product will turn 28 in July.

Williams looked like a potential very solid starter early in his career with the Chargers, but a knee injury derailed his career. Williams started 15 games for the Chargers in 2017 and seven in 2018 before the knee issue landed him on IR. He had been a part of a strong Chargers secondary, but was cut in 2019 after landing on injured reserve again.

Teams keep taking flyers on him since, as he’s had short stints with the Cardinals, Eagles and Jaguars recently, but they keep cutting him too. He’s still only 27, and will likely get another shot soon since teams seem to believe in his potential.

Battle is a 2019 UDFA from LSU who was on the Steelers’ practice squad last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.