The 2021 NFL trade deadline is just over a week away. With teams having to complete any trade by 4 PM on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, there is not a lot of time for deals to get done. Although the NFL is nowhere close to the other major sports leagues when it comes to trade deadline deals, they have been more prevalent in recent years.
A hot topic for most Steelers fans, looking at who Pittsburgh could possibly acquire has been the driving discussion. While some fans want the Steelers to unload a player or two, most of the time those ideas deal more with frustrations instead of reality.
But on Sunday, a report emerged that the Pittsburgh Steelers have received multiple calls with teams inquiring of one of their players. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Melvin Ingram III is a player who could be on the Steelers’ trading block.
Deshaun Watson is not the only intriguing name who could be traded before the deadline. Others: Melvin Ingram (#Steelers), LJ Collier (#Seahawks), Andre Dillard (#Eagles), Kyle Fuller (#Broncos), Andy Isabella (#AZCardinals), Marlon Mack (#Colts).— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 24, 2021
At first, the Steelers dealing Ingram seems to be a bit strange. Is this a move the Steelers would really make? According to Rappoport, other teams who would be looking for Ingram services think he is someone the Steelers would move prior to next Tuesday.
Steelers pass rusher Melvin Ingram: The longtime Chargers veteran landed in Pittsburgh this year and has yet to hit his stride. With inconsistent playing time, teams have begun calling the Steelers about potentially trading for Ingram, and it does appear the Steelers have listened and engaged. Due the balance of just $1.075 million in base salary (the team paid $2.925 million in a signing bonus), Ingram isn’t expensive. The Chiefs have been among those on the hunt around the league for a pass rusher, and they did host Ingram on a visit before he signed.
It is interesting that Rapoport states the Steelers have “listened and engaged.” Exactly what this means is open to speculation. In all honesty, the Steelers should take any call of a team looking for another player as if they give an offer that is too good to refuse, why not pull the trigger? But as for realistically moving on from Ingram after six games, it just doesn’t seem to fit what the Steelers are looking to do in 2021.
First of all, to say that Ingram has received “inconsistent playing time” isn’t the most accurate description. Although he saw a season-low 17 snaps in Week 6, it might have just been the Steelers wisely trying to keep Ingram’s snaps down going into the by week. With injuries occurring to both T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, Ingram has been utilized far more than what the Steelers anticipated when they signed the veteran pass rusher this summer. So even though Ingram’s playing time may have been inconsistent, it’s only been because it’s been more than what was believed he would have at this point of the season.
The other issue the Steelers would have if they were to deal Melvin Ingram is they would be extremely thin with their depth at outside linebacker. With the Steelers already losing sixth-round draft pick Quincy Roche and Week 3 starter Jamir Jones due to being claimed on waivers, the only other outside linebacker on the 53-man roster is Derrek Tuszka. Yes, the Steelers have Taco Charlton on the practice squad, but if he was a better option then Tuszka the Steelers would have probably already made the move to put him on the roster.
With the reports last week that the Steelers were interested in signing Whitney Mercilus, perhaps it was a move for the Steelers to look for depth to bring in and receive something in return for Ingram. Ultimately, Mercilus chose to sign with the Green Bay Packers after he was released by the Houston Texans following their Week 6 lost to the Colts, therefore we will most likely never know the Steelers intentions.
Whether or not there is a realistic possibility of Ingram being dealt prior to next Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline will come more clear over the next week. Until now, Ingram should remain a key rotational player on the Steelers defense as they prepare to take on the Browns this Sunday in Cleveland.