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Appreciating the moves the Steelers don’t make

Sometimes the player Steelers’ fans want ends up not being the right move for one reason or another.

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

I find myself wanting to burst into song. This time, it’s Garth Brooks “Unanswered Prayers” which comes to mind. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, it’s basically appreciating that sometimes what we want isn’t always what’s going to work out best for us in the long run.

I was reminded of this because it was announced on Friday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Carolina Panthers were releasing safety Tre Boston after only one season into his current three-year deal he signed last offseason.

In case you need a reminder, Boston was a player tied to the Steelers in free agency on multiple occasions. Additionally, it was interesting that Boston’s free agency signings came following the NFL draft during the years he was available.

It all started in May 2017 when the Carolina Panthers waved Boston following three years with the team after he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. Upon his release, the Steelers visited with Boston who ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Chargers less than two weeks later for a one-year deal for under $1 million. The next offseason Boston was a free agent again and was not signed until the end of July when he landed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Following his year in Arizona, Boston was on Steelers’ fans radar yet again before ultimately returning to the Carolina Panthers on yet another one-year deal.

Now that we reminded ourselves a little bit of what was going on, there were a number of Steelers fans that we’re looking to add Boston as a free safety to sure up the Steelers’ secondary each of those three offseasons.

It’s not that Tre Boston wouldn’t have been an upgrade every one of the seasons. In 2017 he started 15 games and had five interceptions with the Chargers and followed it up with three interceptions and a fumble recovery the following season in Arizona while starting 13 games. In his 2019 return to Carolina, Boston started 16 games and had three interceptions and a career-high 11 passes defensed.

Had Boston landed in Pittsburgh any one of those seasons, he would have been an asset to the secondary. Perhaps Boston would have found himself playing multiple years in Pittsburgh, and I’m sure would have performed admirably.

But chances are, if the Steelers signed Trey Boston in any of those offseasons, it would have not opened up the path for the Steelers to trade for two-time All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

I would have been in favor of the Steelers upgrading their secondary those years, and I would not have complained had to Steelers signed Boston. But if they had, who knows what the Steelers’ secondary would look like today.

I’m not saying the fans need to not hope the Steelers land certain players because they will find someone better. This doesn’t happen all the time. But when it does, we need to appreciate what came about.

Anyone who’s been a fan for a significant amount of time and keeps an eye on available players around the NFL will ultimately have a player along the way they wish the Steelers would acquire. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. This also includes the NFL draft. Sometimes we fans were right, and sometimes we were wrong. Sometimes the Steelers made a better move in the long run and other times they missed out on an opportunity.

I guess my point is, when things do work out for the better than what we were anticipating at the time, it’s nice to acknowledge that sometimes there are greener pastures ahead.

So have you ever wanted a particular player that didn’t end up in Pittsburgh that now you realize it was the right move? Leave your story for the rest of us to reminisce in the comments below.