Bryant McFadden, the team's 2nd round draft choice in 2005, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He's hired super-agent Drew Rosenhaus to help him re-sign a new (lucrative) deal. I say 'hold the phone' because a decision like this, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, has the potential to throw a monkey wrench in the team's decision making in next April's draft.
Here's what we know:
A) DeShea Townsend is 33 and will be 34 when is contract expires in 2009
B) Ike Taylor is signed through 2010, and the backups William Gay and Anthony Madison are unknown commodities
C) McFadden hasn't been fragile, but he has missed games in his career, including three this past year
D) We have bigger issues in other units on both sides of the ball
So, even though none of us believes the Steelers should draft a CB in the first round, all of a sudden, that possibility is in play, if the right kind of talent is in fact available when we're on the clock, and if all of the upper-crust of the offensive linemen are off the board. The Steelers could decide that McFadden will cost too much money in today's free agency game, especially with Rosenhaus at the helm of the negotiations. And frankly, they could decide his upside isn't worth even a somewhat reasonable market price, let alone a Rosenhaus-inflated market price. If their thought process is either, then it's definitely possible we take a CB on Day One.
I happen to believe that we should not draft a CB early under any circumstance. I'll have to think more about whether I believe McFadden is worth paying, but just for the sake of it, let's say he's not. That means we'd be banking on William Gay or Anthony Madison to step up and play right away. In the case of Gay, I'm all for it. I liked what little I saw from him last year. He'll have some catching up to do scheme wise, but from what I saw, he was both aggressive and in good position. Throw him in there and let's see what we've got. If it doesn't work out well in 2008, perhaps we draft a CB in the first round of the 2009 Draft after having shored up the offensive line some in 2008.
I trust DeShea and Ike plus any combination of Gay, Madison, and dare I say Donnie Nickey as well?