Updated: Mar 2, 2022
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Kevin Colbert told Steelers Nation Radio at the NFL Combine on Tuesday that Stephon Tuitt has expressed interest in playing in 2022. This news contradicts Mark Madden's report that he was told Tuitt is leaning toward retirement. Alan Saunders of Steelers Now also reported in January that Tuitt's Pine Township home is under contract to be sold, according to real estate and property records. The home was listed for sale on Jan. 16 and placed under contract on Jan. 22.
Tuitt selling his house in the Pittsburgh area surely doesn't mean he's done with the team, as he could be down sizing or just looking for another house, but it's definitely interesting.
Tuitt missed the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, but he was also dealing with a personal tragedy, as his brother, Richard Bartlett III, 23, was killed in a hit-and-run car accident in June.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bartlett died after he was struck by a car while trying to secure a mattress and box spring to the top of a vehicle along McGinnis Ferry Road about 9:30 p.m. on June 2. The hit-and-run remains under investigation.
"He wanted to play last year. He had a knee injury he had to work his way through and obviously the family situation that hurt along those lines," Colbert said. "But we respected what he had to deal with. And we tried to support him the best as possible."
Jenna Harner of WPXI spoke with Steelers president Art Rooney II last Thursday, and Harner asked Rooney if he sees Tuitt being a part of the Steelers in 2022.
"We don't know at this point where Stephon is going to be and what his ability to compete for a position here next season is going to be. We've left the door open," Rooney said.
The Steelers really missed Tuitt's presence on the defensive line last season, as they ranked 32nd in the league in run defense (143.8) and yards per carry (5.0).
Tuitt is signed through 2022 and has a base salary of more than $9 million. His cap hit is over $13.975 after a restructuring last year pushed more of a cap hit into this season. According to overthecap.com, the Steelers will have $9,680,750 in dead cap space this year if Tuitt retires. It would also free up $4,295,000 in cap room.