The MLB trading deadline on July 31st of every season is typically a festival of familiar faces going to new places, the media on standby waiting to be first to report comings and goings and phones in every GM’s office ringing like ear drums after a 1988 Guns ‘n Roses concert. The NFL trading deadline usually is more reminiscent of my teenage rotary phone on a Saturday night in that very same year...it barely rang.
That was then, this is now and the now may be uncharacteristically more like baseball and less like the norm that has featured a smattering of swaps over the years. Contending teams are starting to consider letting go of the unknown behind door number two and play for a championship with a proven commodity now. Although draft picks are important, they aren’t a given to contribute. Neither are players that teams are willing to surrender. The bottom line is that nothing is a certainty in professional sports when it comes to prospects and veterans,
The Eagles found a piece of their Lombardi puzzle in-season in the form of Jay Ajayi last year. The cost was a fourth round pick. Who wouldn’t gamble a RB named Kallen Ballage with the 131st pick for a guy that can help and did lead the way to the top of the mountain?
Philosophies in the NFL are changing and more teams are willing to forgo the future to win now. While other teams are more content to shed salary and start the rebuild sooner rather than later. Pittsburgh is typically not a buyer or a seller in this situation, but the Patriots are...and it has definitely proven to be a good practice. The Pats are willing to do it again with names like Demaryius Thomas, Lesean McCoy and Jamie Collins Sr. rumored to Belichick in to Foxboro.
While teams typically don’t like to make reactive moves, fans don’t want to see the Steelers stand still (notice...not stand pat) and watch while NE rebuilds. It is time to address needs in anticipation of the possibility of meeting with the conference crown at stake.
It is no secret that the Steelers are most weak at the corner opposite Joe Haden. An upgrade there seems obvious. While everybody wanted Patrick Peterson, he’s not going to be made available by Arizona. Janoris Jenkins and Garreon Conley are not “can’t miss”, but they could be an upgrade. It would be a missed opportunity not addressing the right corner, especially with the high-powered KC attack rolling and if the Pats add a receiver.
Corner might not be the only position the Steelers would benefit by addressing. The receiver position falls off of a cliff after Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. James Washington’s career has been slow to get off of the ground, Justin Hunter has not seized opportunity and Ryan Switzer is merely a bit player. Bringing in a pass-catcher like a Kelvin Benjamin or a Thomas could and should be a priority as well. It’s just not typical of Kevin Colbert and the organization.
The idea of working a trade-away of the disgruntled Lev Bell is virtually impossible, so don’t expect that to happen. A lot of stuff would have to fall into place for that to transpire. So don’t count on it,
The league is evolving. The Steelers need to evolve as well to not stall half way up the Lombardi ladder. But will they?
What will the Steelers do at the NFL trade deadline?
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Make a deal