FanPost

No quick fix to all the issues, but here's what I'd do

1) Put Ike Taylor on the trade block
This is obviously contingent upon bringing Keenan Lewis back into the fold, but assuming he's brought back, we have two starting caliber corners who are younger than Ike in Lewis and Cortez Allen. And let's be honest, Allen has made more splash plays in two games than Ike has in two years. Plus Ike is due to count 8 million dollars against the cap in 2013. See what he can bring back via trade. Being a good corner, I think he can bring back a 3rd or 4th rounder. Curtis Brown or possibly a rookie can take over the slot corner role. Plus corner is a pretty deep pool in the 2013 Draft, so to me, saving around 8 million dollars would make a lot of sense.

2) Trade either Brett Keisel or Ziggy Hood
He's 35 years old, so I'd think at most, we have another year or two we're going to get from him at a high level. Given that Brett has shown he can still play the game at a pretty high level, now might be a good time to sell on a guy who will count 4.5 million dollars against the cap in 2013. Plus we have a 1st round pick in Cameron Heyward who has done essentially nothing but warm the bench his first two years in the league. It's time to take off the kid gloves and see what we have in Heyward when he is given a full-time role. Or you could decide to deal Hood, who is due to count about $2.5 million against the Steelers salary cap in 2013. Either way, I'm ready to see Cam get a full-time role.

3) Release James Harrison
You saw during the 2012 season why I wanted to see him get traded before the 2012 Draft. He's clearly a player entering the twilight years of his career due to age and injury concerns, but he still had some value. Now that value is gone however, so they have to release him. It's either that, restructure his deal or keep him and have him count 10 million dollars against the 2013 cap. Restructuring isn't an option, that would only have him count more against the 2014 cap. Neither is keeping him on his 2013 deal, 10 million dollars is far too much money for what he currently offers. If James will come back at a much more reasonable salary, that would work for me. But regardless of whether he's brought back at a cheaper salary or not, a pass rusher is needed.

4) Give Steve McLendon his chance to prove himself as a starting nose tackle
It was a nice run for Casey Hampton, but the time eventually comes to move on from players regardless of how much they've done for your franchise. That time has come for the Steelers with Hampton. On passing downs in particular, McLendon has shown himself to be a force.

5) Sign Matt Moore or Drew Stanton to be the #2 QB and draft Zac Dysert
These guys would provide a substantial upgrade over Byron Leftwich, who I didn't even want the team to bring back for the 2012 season. Charlie Batch is also finished, so I'd still look at drafting Zac Dysert as a young QB with some skills and upside. His name is the one that most interests me for the 2013 Draft as far as QBs go. That is unless San Jose State QB David Fales decided he wanted in the 2013 Draft. My guess is he returns to school though.

6) Bring back Max Starks to be the left tackle
Unless the team wants to create yet another hole for themselves, this has to be the second biggest no-brainer other than bringing back Keenan Lewis. There's no way this team could feel confident in either Marcus Gilbert or Mike Adams to protect Big Ben's blindside. At least they shouldn't. What has Gilbert shown to prove he deserves to be any more than the right tackle? Exactly. Nothing. Then Mike Adams... he might be a solid looking run blocker, but he was a turn style as a pass protector. Some got all over me for criticizing him being taken by the team due to a number of factors, one of which was his issues with pass blocking. The other was the fact that he's a pinhead. But anyway, I thought it was fairly predictable he would struggle after watching him get beaten pretty soundly in pass protection by a pretty average college player in Jack Crawford of Penn State. It wasn't just that though, I read opinions of Ohio State fans who say they watched every game he played over his four year career there considered him as well as that entire senior class a colossal disappointment. Given that Ohio State was a pretty crappy team in 2011 and that their fans undoubtedly know more than me about that subject than me, I didn't want him in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for me, he's here now though. Like Marcus Gilbert, he may be right tackle worthy, but asking him to protect Ben's blindside is asking for a disaster. Bring Max Starks back to handle the job. He's the only lineman currently employed on this team who has proven he can do that job at a pretty high level.

7) Restructures
The obvious candidates for this are Ben and Woodley.
http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/12/how-the-steelers-can-clear-20-million-in-2013-cap-space-via-four-restructures/

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