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 the scathing criticism by Steelers great Hines Ward very well could right on the money. Like it or not, sometimes hear these things just doesn’t sit well, but it doesn’t make it fiction.
Let’s get to the news:
Tim Benz: Hines Ward is right – Steelers are now the Bengals, must become the Patriots
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
If you don’t value my opinion on the declining state of the Steelers, that’s fine. Maybe you’ll value the opinion of another guy many folks said was too short. Except he did play in the NFL.
He was pretty good at it. You might remember him. His name is Hines Ward.
”When we’re talking about the Steelers off the field more than we’re talking about the Steelers on the field, it’s a problem,” Ward said to USA Today. “Remember those Cincinnati Bengals, when they were worried about the shenanigans with (Chad) Ochocinco and T.J. (Houshmandzadeh)? That’s who the Steelers are now.”
Sounds familiar, no?
”I just think the culture that Mike Tomlin has created, or that exists in Pittsburgh, that’s not the standard of the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Ward added.
The former Steelers receiver made those comments during Super Bowl week, a few days after I sent that tweet. So, apparently, we are of like mind on this front. The one-time Super Bowl MVP also used the word ”circus” to describe the Steelers. That’s another word I have used myself, much to the chagrin of Steelers management.
Ward is right. The Steelers have become like those other teams: A talented but disorganized and underachieving lot that’s more known for their headlines off the field than the ones they make on it.
The only people refuting that belief are those in the organization trying polish the horse droppings of 2018, some fans who can’t bring themselves to admit the truth, and some media members who feel like carrying water for the team.
Ward said those things from a place of concern for his NFL alma mater. Not to get folks retweeting his quote with flame emojis.
Frankly, I was doing the same. I hate admitting what the Steelers have become. I’d love to see the team get back to what it was when Ward was playing.
It wasn’t the smoothest of times back then either, mind you. Ward played a role in that. He once griped about not getting the ball enough ... in training camp. He questioned Ben Roethlisberger for not playing when the quarterback had a concussion.
Roethlisberger created a monsoon of negative press. Joey Porter constantly found himself in off-the-field situations. Plaxico Burress, too. Not to mention Cedric Wilson and James Harrison.
But when it was time to play — and practice — in the early 2000s, those guys shelved those issues and took care of business and went to Super Bowls.
Remind you of anyone else?
(To read more, click in the link in the headline above...)
Steelers still considering using transition tag on Le’Veon Bell
By: Adam Schefter, ESPN
The Pittsburgh Steelers are still considering using their transition tag on Le’Veon Bell, which would give them the right to match any offer sheet the free-agent-to-be signs with any other team, a league source told ESPN.
The prospect of using the transition tag on the star running back creates an interesting situation, considering the fact that receiver Antonio Brown is likely to be traded, while Bell could possibly be back in Pittsburgh for 2019.
Pittsburgh’s decision depends on how much another team would value Bell and whether the Steelers would be willing to match the offer sheet.
There also is a battle brewing between the NFL and and NFL Players Association over the value of what the transition tag would be on Bell if the Steelers did use it. Bell and the NFLPA will argue that the transition tag is close to $14.5 million based on the escalating value of tags, and the Steelers and the NFL will say it’s closer to $9.5 million because Bell sat out this past season.
No player has ever been in a situation like this. If the league wins the ruling, it will add even more leverage to teams using franchise and transition tags. If the NFLPA wins, it will give players more rights if they decide to skip seasons when tagged.
Kansas City Chiefs early favorites to win Super Bowl LIV next season
By: Ben Fawkes, ESPN
The New England Patriots are champions for the second time in three seasons after defeating the Los Angeles Rams, but Las Vegas doesn’t believe they are the favorites to win the Super Bowl again next season.
Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL MVP QB Patrick Mahomes are getting oddmakers’ respect.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened odds to win Super Bowl LIV in early January. The Chiefs had the second-best odds at 7-1, with the Rams as the favorite at 6-1. However, in the weeks since, Kansas City has shifted to the 6-1 favorite there and at multiple other Las Vegas sportsbooks.
New England, Los Angeles and the New Orleans Saints have the second-best odds at 8-1 at Westgate. No other team has odds in the single digits.
The teams with the next-best odds are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bearsat 14-1 at the SuperBook. The Cleveland Browns are among six teams with 20-1 odds.
”One word: Mahomes,” Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook director John Murray told ESPN, citing why the Chiefs are now the favorite.
”We’ve got the Chiefs as the favorite,” vice president of risk at CG Technology Jason Simbal told ESPN. “We’ve taken the most bets and money on them so far.”
The story is the same in New Jersey, where the Chiefs are the 6-1 favorites at SugarHouse and DraftKings. Kansas City is the second favorite (9-1) behind New England (8-1) at DraftKings.
(To read more, click in the link in the headline above...)