Gunner Olszewski Days As A Steeler Could Be Numbered
When Gunner Olszewski was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 21, 2022, the team had visions of an All-Pro caliber return specialist that would enhance their team as a whole.
In 2020, Olszewski led the league in both punt return yardage and yards per punt return with the New England Patriots. He gained All-Pro status as a punt returner after accumulating 764 total return yards.
Unfortunately, the Steelers did not get the same player that took the NFL by storm in 2020; rather, they received a player that was a shade of what he once was. His ball security issues would surface in Week 2 against his former team, the New England Patriots, when his muffed punt midway through the third quarter would prove costly to the team. Olszewski would be eventually replaced by fellow receiver Steven Sims as their main returner prior to their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills.
As a receiver, Olszewski finished the season with just 53 receiving yards on 216 offensive snaps. With little to offer on offense, Olszewski's value to the team is questionable at best. Considering the team's cap situation, Olszewski may be a prime candidate to be released, despite his salary occupying a little over $2.6 million.
Though he may be affordable to keep, costly mistakes may have sealed his fate with the team. In addition, the potential insertion of second-year receiver Calvin Austin III presents a cheaper option with a skillset that makes Olszewski seem obsolete.