The Pittsburgh Steelers shocked a few people on Thursday when it was announced that they were releasing six-time Pro-Bowl guard David DeCastro. The move will save the Steelers an estimated $8.75 million in cap space.
The 31-year-old was a first-round selection by the Steelers in the 2012 NFL Draft. DeCastro found instant success with Pittsburgh, being named to three All-Pro teams. Considering not a lot of remaining free agents have a resume as accomplished as his, there won't be any shortage of suitors for DeCastro's services – assuming this move isn't a precursor to retirement for the Stanford product.
Here's a look at the three most likely destinations for DeCastro following his Steelers release.
David DeCastro Destinations
1. New York Giants
One team that desperately needs to improve their offensive line ahead of the 2021 NFL season is the New York Giants. Quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked 45 times in 2020 — the fourth-highest total in the league. If the Giants want Jones (or anyone, really) to succeed under center, the offensive line needs to be better. While Zach Fulton is serviceable enough on the right side, Shane Lemieux wasn't great at left guard. He allowed 5 sacks on just 504 offensive snaps last season and finished the campaign with an abysmal 32.2 overall Pro Football Focus grade. With DeCastro being graded a 64.1 while going 845 snaps without allowing a sack, he'd certainly be an upgrade over Lemieux.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Sticking with the NFC East, no team allowed more sacks than the 4.1 per game the Philadelphia Eagles gave up in 2020. A large part of that was because three-time Pro-Bowl guard Brandon Brooks missed the entire year with a torn Achilles. While his recovery is on track, there's no telling how he'll play over a 17-game season. That's why bringing in DeCastro would be a smart move. If Brooks regresses, the Eagles would have DeCastro to lean on. If Brooks stays healthy, they can play both of them at the same time in what would surely be an improvement over last season's O-Line.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals have talked a lot this season about how they want to give QB Joe Burrow the best opportunity to succeed. One way of doing that is by further improving their offensive line to ensure that their signal-caller isn't sacked 32 times again next season. Bringing in DeCastro would surely give Burrow more protection. He'd also be an improvement over rookie Jackson Carman and journeyman Xavier Su'a-Filo — the two guards currently sitting atop Cincinnati's depth chart. While Carman is a promising rookie drafted in Round 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft, there's no guarantee that he's ready to be an everyday starter. Plus, Su'a-Filo isn't anything special. Having DeCastro on the roster would help the Bengals be a better team before the new season even begins.
Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!