2023 Steelers Exit Interviews: Keeanu Benton and Montravius Adams
The Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2024.
Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, and the fact I have done these articles in the past, we thought we would do the same here at Steel Curtain Network. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin has previously stated he starts his interviews with rookies and those heading into free agency, we will attempt to do the same to some degree. To start, we will pair the most recent draftees with another player at the same position (if possible) as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.
Next up are defensive linemen Keeanu Benton and Montravius Adams.
Position: Defensive lineman
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 1
Contract Status: Signed through 2026
Contract Details: $1,666,619 salary cap hit for 2024. Would cost the Steelers $2,946,541 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2023: 17 regular season
Games started in 2023: 9 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 484 (defense), 48 (special teams)
PFF score: 76.9 (19th of 130)
Notable stats: During the regular season, Benton had 63 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 8 quarterback hits, 2 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles.
Notes: It appears the Steelers found another impressive defensive lineman in the last year‘s NFL draft. To hear head coach Mike Tomlin use the word “dominant” when describing what he thinks Benton is capable of being, and sooner rather than later, tells the story of his potential. Benton got more playing time early in the season when compared to others in the Steelers 2023 draft class mainly because of the injury to Cam Heyward. But Benton continued to get the job done for the Steelers and took over the starting nose tackle position when Montravius Adams went down and never relinquished it. All things considered, Benton has an exciting future heading into 2024.
Position: Defensive lineman
Years with the Steelers: 3
Years in the NFL: 7
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money.
Games played in 2023: 13 regular season
Games started in 2023: 8 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 416 (defense), 61 (special teams)
PFF score: 59.0 (74th of 130)
Notable stats: During the regular season, Adams had 24 tackles, 1 pass defensed, and 1 forced fumble.
Notes: Adams was the Steelers starter at news tackle for their first eight games this season, but after missing four games due to injury he returned in a reserve role as part of the rotation. Still, Adam showed his worth with continued quality play when given the opportunity. Heading in the free agency, Adams is now more of a depth piece should Steelers consider bringing him back for 2024. Adams might be wise to test free agency first and see if there are other suitors for his skills before coming back to negotiate a return to Pittsburgh. I would not be surprised to see Adams move on or be back next season with all things considered.
Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:
More from Steel Curtain Networkread more
You may also be interested inread more
Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast
Steelers Friday Night Six Pack: Speculation Season Edition
Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcastKeys to victory for the Steelers over the Ravens in Week 5