The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.
Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether or not giving Ben Roethlisberger an extension, which has been reported by multiple sources, is considered a no-brainer decision. Sure, on the surface it makes sense, but does it hold water when you look deeper? Let’s take a look...
Let’s get to the news:
By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
For all his breathtaking playmaking and marketability and record-breaking performances, Antonio Brown was never going to win a power struggle in Pittsburgh.
Not with a franchise quarterback in a quarterback-centric league.
That’s why news of the Pittsburgh Steelers planning to restructure and extend Ben Roethlisberger’s contract, via a report by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, is a bigger move than any trade or a Le’Veon Bell transition tag that could be applied in the next three months.
Big Ben’s presence gives stability to a team that values it. He threw for a league-leading 5,129 yards at age 36. It’s a pretty easy call to take the final year remaining on his deal and add two years to it, falling in line with a quarterback market paying at least $25-30 million annually for top-shelf guys.
There’s still much to sort out with Brown, which affects Roethlisberger, the offense and the entire organization.
As Brown left the team before Week 17 and raised questions about his future in Pittsburgh, multiple reports hint at growing tension between Brown and Roethlisberger.
NFL Network analyst James Jones, a former Green Bay Packers receiver, said he heard from players that Roethlisberger chided Brown in meetings, saying he didn’t have to throw him the ball, and called for Brown to get off the field after running the wrong route.
The two have had their love-hate moments, to be sure. Clearly something went down last week, many details of which you can read here.
But one veteran player who witnessed the whole incident last week said Roethlisberger didn’t say any of those lines.
And one reality was pointed out to me by several current and ex-Steelers: You don’t record six straight 100-catch seasons together without trust. That’s why Roethlisberger came out strongly on his radio show in support of Brown.
Roethlisberger isn’t going anywhere, and if Brown is with him in 2019, he has to work within the parameters of a Big Ben-led offense. That’s probably not changing.
March will offer clarity. Brown’s roster bonus of $2.5 million is due March 18. Expect Roethlisberger’s contract to be done by then, giving the Steelers the chance to lessen the quarterback’s $23.2 million salary cap hit next year. Team president Art Rooney II said last offseason that both sides wanted to execute one more contract before Roethlisberger retires. A three-year deal would take Roethlisberger to age 38, a reasonable timeframe to expect high production.
Roethlisberger slimmed down last season and has said he felt more nimble, which helped him throw a league-high 675 passing attempts and 452 completions.
(For more, click the link in the headline...)
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Seemingly every time he walked into or out of the locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Trey Edmunds had a smile on his face.
A second-year running back who’s developed a reputation as a special-teams standout, Edmunds was beaming not only because he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers but because he was playing with his younger brother, Terrell.
The Steelers’ ‘other’ Edmunds, Trey, was signed to the practice squad prior to the regular-season opener and he was on the active roster for the Steelers’ final fourgames .
“Absolutely, I’m so happy to be here,” Edmunds said. “Happy for just another chance to continue my career. Great organization. Despite what happened (missing the playoffs), that’s just football; things just happen, even to the best teams…. But I truly believe that this is one of the best organizations, so I am happy to be here.”
Unlike his brothers (each of whom was a first-round pick) and his father, Ferrell (a Pro Bowler three decades ago), Edmunds has had to grind to make it in the NFL. Undrafted out of Maryland in 2017, Edmunds made the New Orleans Saints as a rookie and became a reliable presence on special teams.
Four months after they drafted safety Terrell Edmunds with the No. 28 overall pick in late April 2018, the Steelers signed Trey to their practice squad after Trey had been among the Saints’ final cuts of the preseason. That re-united Trey with Terrell after those two and Tremaine (a linebacker and 2018 first-round pick of Buffalo) had played together at Virginia Tech.
“It’s definitely cool to be here with Terrell,” Trey Edmunds said. “We were able to pick each other up, teach each other some things, strengthen our bond. It was already strong but strengthen it even more.”
But will Trey Edmunds get to continue his Steelers’ career? He appeared on the kickoff coverage and return and the punt return teams during December but did not get a game rep at running back. After finishing the season on the 53-man roster, his offseason spot on the 90-man roster is secure.
So it will probably come down to how training camp shakes out to find out whether Trey Edmunds has found a longterm NFL home.
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
I have never been shy about referencing my dislike for Ryan Clark, at least while he played for the Steelers.
Actually, when he first came to the club as a free agent safety in 2006, I liked talking to him a lot. He was outgoing, informative, occasionally funny.
That soured the year after the Steelers won the 2008 Super Bowl. The team rolled downhill in 2009 and missed the playoffs. Clark didn’t like criticism as times went bad.
It remains incredibly ironic to me that Clark is now a working member of the media — with ESPN — given the disdain he showed toward those in the business during his playing days. He went so far as to call those covering the team “turds” in 2009 and almost got into a physical altercation with one media member at a 2011 training camp interview session in Latrobe.
However, of the many former NFL players who have become talking heads, Clark has been the best “turd” of the bunch when it comes to discussing the Antonio Brown situation.
Dare I say, he’s been “turdtastic.”
Clark has been unafraid to share firsthand accounts from the locker room illustrating how much of a disruptive diva Brown was, dating to 2012. He appropriately stood up for himself when another former Steeler, DeAngelo Williams,was critical of him sharing that information. Clark also has been bold enough to rebuff the social pressure to side with Brown based on race.
In other words, Clark has done a lot of the things many former players are afraid to do once they get into the analyst chair. He’s been honest, transparent, insightful, unabashed and unbiased ... as hopefully you can tell I’m trying to be, my personal feelings about Clark aside.
Beyond that, Clark has been something else. He’s been right.
(For more, click the link in the headline...)