What does the pending loss of Chris Hubbard mean for Pittsburgh?

The Steelers are expected to let their top backup offensive lineman, Chris Hubbard test free agency this year. The guard will be entering his age 27 season and will most likely find a starting job in free agency.

If Hubbard goes, what does this mean for Pittsburgh? The Steelers have one of the best O-lines in football, blocking for one of the best backs in Le’Veon Bell, and protecting a first ballot hall of famer, Ben Roethlisberger.

They have the elite trio of Alejandro Villanueva, Maurkice Pouncey, and David DeCastro along with Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert. Hubbard was signed in 2014 as an undrafted free agent and has served as a backup for the unit and started 10 games in 2017 at multiple positions on the line.

In training camp of 2017 head coach Mike Tomlin was asked what he thinks of Hubbard’s versatility, and he simply replied, “It is a beautiful thing isn’t it?”

It’s no secret if Hubbard finds work elsewhere, it’ll hurt the Steelers. Unless they draft a lineman or find a cheaper one in free agency, the two main backups will be, B.J. Finney and Jerald Hawkins.

Finney went undrafted in 2015 and spent his rookie campaign on the practice squad before getting his first start in 2016. He started 4 games last season, while appearing in 14 regular season games.

Hawkins was Pittsburgh’s fourth round selection in 2016 and spent his rookie season on IR before making his first start last season.

No disrespect to those two, but they’re no Hubbard. His versatility is unmatched and is a huge plus to have on any team, especially the Steelers who need that strong line for their powerful offense. Losing him will definitely hurt the Steelers in 2018, but just like any other time a player leaves, it’s next man up.

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