The Pittsburgh Steelers are contenders, and with the Le’Veon Bell situation playing out as it is currently, they’re looking to shop him around. It seems a serious possibility the Steelers will execute a trade within the next two weeks, but whether Bell will be going somewhere else — or perhaps not leaving at all — remains an open question. The Steelers might be looking to bolster their defense and, as such, they might acquire an impact player at a position of need. It could even be a combination of both.
Thus, it’s a fluid situation for the Steelers on the trade market. Here are three deals the Steelers could possibly pull off at the deadline which make the most sense:
Trade 1: Le’Veon Bell to the Eagles for Ronald Darby and a fourth-round pick
I don’t know about this one, but it seems to benefit both teams. Bell and Darby are both in contract years, and neither team is likely to retain both of these players due to cap constraints or the overall position of the contract disputes.
The Eagles may not be considering a run at Bell, but if they want to win the Super Bowl again, their running game must get up to speed with the rest of the team. After losing Jay Ajayi to a torn ACL, the already-putrid running game took a bigger hit, and it has yet to show any improvement. Bell would provide an immediate solution to that issue, and he’s be working behind an elite OL. Bell also would give them a great receiving back to pair with Carson Wentz. In many ways, the Eagles’ offense is similar to the Steelers’ and it would be an easier transition for Bell to make than with most other teams in the league.
As for Darby, the Steelers get the coveted CB2 they’ve been looking for, and he fits like a glove into this system. Not only is he a good man-coverage corner who can be physical, but he has good ball skills. This aspect of his game is something that no Steelers’ CB has outside of Joe Haden and Mike Hilton. This would also end the turmoil of the cornerback discussion and would boost the Steelers to new heights. The Steelers already have James Conner waiting in the wings, so parting with Bell isn’t a huge deal. The fourth-round pick is the compensation the Steelers expect to receive for trading an elite RB in Bell, and it ties the bow together rather nicely. This looks good for both sides.
Trade 2: Patrick Peterson to the Steelers for a first- and third-round pick
Yeah, I know, the price is amazingly steep for the Steelers to pay, but it’s so worth it. This CB duo would immediately become a top-5 pairing in the league, given how well Joe Haden has been playing. And this would also be extra insurance if Ryan Switzer gets injured because the Steelers would have Peterson as a capable backup. The Steelers shouldn’t be left standing on the sidewalk, watching an opportunity this good pass them by. This is a top-10 CB who fills a huge need and gives your defense the biggest boost it might get all season. Unless the Steelers are drafting in the top-10 (perish the thought), that No. 1 pick is worth parting with. If their goal is the Super Bowl, they simply cannot let Artie Burns start one more game.
The Cardinals are going into full-rebuild mode with a franchise QB at the helm. Rosen is good, but they’re looking to stock up on draft picks and retool. Peterson is a great player, but for the Cardinals his worth is more in the compensation it would give them. It does matter that Arizona would instantly create a huge void at CB, because it takes time to develop a young replacement. But the picks they’d get in this case seem to make a lot of sense and Peterson is truly the game-changer Pittsburgh needs on defense. All I have to say is — do it, Colbert!
Trade 3: Gareon Conley to the Steelers for a fourth-round pick
This could be a slight overpay, but I’m okay with it. I don’t have to send Bell out the door, and the team can go with the two-headed monster attack with Bell and Conner. On top of that, it’s also a solution to the CB2 issue. Jon Gruden has benched Conley after having some struggles early, but he’s a rookie and he’s been improving. It doesn’t make sense why, but they’re now shopping around anyone and everyone — and this is exactly what we like to hear in Steelers Nation. It wouldn’t cost the Steelers much due to his lack of proven success in the NFL, but he’s a talented youngster with substantial upside.
He needs to move on, as Gruden clearly is not happy with him, and he can become one of the better players in the Steelers’ secondary. A fourth-rounder is about as good as the Raiders might get, and I doubt they would turn it down. Conley is a press-corner with length and some of the best speed to come out of the draft in years. Given Pittsburgh’s current needs in a CB, he fits in extremely well. I love Patrick Peterson, but this one might truly be the most ideal trade.