The Pittsburgh Steelers have been doing this differently so far in 2019. For whatever reason, the Steelers have been extremely active trading draft picks away to acquire players from other teams.
The most noteworthy trade was with the Miami Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick, which sent the Steelers’ 2020 1st round pick to Miami, but on Tuesday night the Steelers made another trade, this time with the Seattle Seahawks, for tight end Nick Vannett. The Steelers sent their 2020 5th round pick to Seattle for the tight end.
While most saw the fact Vance McDonald is nursing a shoulder injury, one we don’t know the severity of yet, and the team being paper thin at the tight end position, it made sense to connect the dots and assume Vannett was signed because McDonald’s injury was considered a long-term injury.
As it turns out, it is being report this wasn’t the case. This per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
SOURCES: Steelers did not make trade for Vannett because they think Vance McDonald shoulder injury is bad. It’s not. They are trying to bolster position and get a No. 2 after what they’ve witnessed thru 3G— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) September 25, 2019
According to Dulac, the Vannett trade had everything to do with the overall depth at the position, and not the fact McDonald is injured. Unlike the Fitzpatrick trade, Vannett is on the final year of his rookie contract. So, unless the Steelers trade and negotiate a new deal with him, unlikely considering he is under contract for $900,220 in 2019, he will become a free agent after this season.
The team will have to make a roster move to put Vannett on the 53-man roster, and you have to wonder who will be leaving to create room. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week 4.