David DeCastro gave the Pittsburgh Steelers everything he had.
He put in nine superb years that included six Pro Bowl appearances. More importantly, he’s a two-time All Pro who could be considered for the Hall of Fame.
And how did his team reward him? They released him apparently due to a lingering ankle issue despite the fact that the man has only missed seven games since his rookie year.
Even worse, Pittsburgh released him due to a “non-football injury,” so as to avoid liability. DeCastro played through his injury last season and started the last twelve games (including the playoff game against the Cleveland Browns), but the Steelers didn’t report it. That means they likely violated the injury-reporting rules. Now they’re trying to save as much as possible, and the veteran guard is not happy about it.
So where does that leave DeCastro? Even he doesn’t know.
In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he talked about being content with what he accomplished, how “it’s been a good run,” and that his body “just kind of gave out.” It is now “hard to play football” for him.
DeCastro’s future is up in the air
Does he think he’s done? It depends on how surgery goes, he said.
His options now are probably either to retire or play on a cheap deal. If he chooses the latter, it would make sense for him to choose a contender. That way, he could play limited snaps and go out a winner, something he’s been for most of his career.
But what if the Steelers’ disrespect really bugged him? Where would he go? Let’s think back to James Harrison, who thought he still had something left in the tank when Pittsburgh released him in 2013.
The best way to get back at the Steelers would be to go to the Bengals and make them good. We talk about this possibility in the video below:
You can also listen on iTunes and using the player below:
Would DeCastro fit on the Bengals?
While Cincinnati’s management team seems to think they’ve resolved their issues at guard by re-signing Quinton Spain and drafting Jackson Carman, they might still be willing to add DeCastro if they think he’s a significant upgrade over those two. The former Steeler would help elevate the play of the line in limited snaps and facilitate a culture change in Cincinnati.
Does DeCastro fit with what the Bengals do? Not exactly. In Pittsburgh, he ran a lot of power and man gap concepts. Cincinnati’s offensive line coach, Frank Pollack, meanwhile, likes to run a wide zone scheme. But, as we discuss in the video and podcast above, DeCastro is so talented that he can fit anywhere, provided he is healthy.