As the huge roster reduction from 75 to 53 approaches (the deadline is Saturday at 6:00 p.m. ET), some veteran players could be on the bubble.
One such player, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network (i.e., don’t blame us), possibly is Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton.
Asked during a Monday chat whether he sees any potential surprises on the cut-down horizon, La Canfora wrote, “One player I am sniffing around on right now is Casey Hampton. [Editor’s note: That’s one hell of an image with which to start the morning.] Steelers
could use some cap room, he may not be [someone] they would extend at
this point. [I’d] think a trade is more likely, but some people I know
close to the situation say they would not be stunned if a move of some
sort was made.”
Last year, Hampton showed up for training camp well above his target weight, and he was held out of practice until August 10. (Thanks, Rotoworld.) He went on to start 13 regular-season games and three postseason contests, including the Super Bowl.
This year, Hampton showed up within his proper weight, and he has started each of the three preseason games. And while he’s entering the final year of his contract, at a salary of $3.075 million, the Steelers typically don’t move guys that they might not be planning to re-sign. Instead, the Steelers allow them to finish out their deals, and then to leave.
As word of La Canfora’s opinion has made the round, Hampton addressed the matter after practice on Tuesday.
“Oh, they’re going to cut me today?” Hampton said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
But Hampton then addressed his uncertain future, given that defensive end Brett Keisel was picked to receive a five-year deal — and Hampton wasn’t.
“If they let me get to free agency, everybody knows what it’s going
to be,” Hampton said. “There ain’t nothing
to even talk about.”
If La Canfora’s “sniffing around” Hampton yields other than the smell of Twinkie crumbs, Hampton might be a free agent six months before he otherwise planned to be.