As I begin this article, your Pittsburgh Steelers are one week away from the start of unrestricted free agency. Are you excited? You are? Don’t we go through this every year?
I mean, seriously.
Anyway, I suppose it’s more accurate to say the rest of the NFL is one week away from the start of free agency. As for the Steelers? They’re likely one week away from not doing anything on the big day—Day 1. Heck, with their salary cap situation as precarious as it is, they might not even do anything on the second, third or even fourth day.
It’s really that up in the air. We haven’t seen the Steelers salary cap situation—a situation that’s usually kind of iffy during the best of offseasons—this dire since 2013 when perhaps their biggest move was reacquiring Matt Spaeth.
I know, right?
But I’m used to this. I’m a Steelers fan. I’ve become accustomed to how they do business. Ever see Eddie Murphy’s 1987 standup special, Raw, when he talks about being a kid and his mother making him her house burger as an alternative to the McDonald’s burger he really wanted?
That’s right, a Steelers free-agency frenzy usually consists of them giving us a big, fat house burger with green peppers sticking out. And you better believe we’re getting Wonder Bread with the crust cut off instead of a bun.
Meanwhile, all the other teams, especially the next-door neighbors—the Ravens—get to play outside with their McDonald’s hamburgers while all the pundits declare them free-agent winners.
It. Happens. Every. Offseason.
But, hey, at least the Steelers are honest. It’s not like they’re comedian John Mulaney’s dad, a man who once pulled up to a McDonald’s drive-thru when Mulaney and his siblings were small children and simply ordered one black coffee and kept driving.
To reiterate, we know how the Steelers operate. Will they make some moves and bring in a player or two from outside the organization? They can probably make it happen. After all, creating cap space at the expense of future years has always been their specialty.
But I don’t anticipate being wowed by them. Never, ever will I expect them to buy their batteries at the local drug store—they’re always way overpriced.
Nope, I expect the Steelers to be as practical as always. Maybe they’ll bring back B.J. Finney to be this year’s Stefen Wisniewski.
Instead of Aaron Jones as their solution for the next starting running back, as Bryan Anthony Davis has said many times, perhaps they’ll ink a deal with someone like Marlon Mack.
Will moves like these anger social media and the comments sections? Will they lead to talk show hosts spending entire segments discussing how the Ravens and the Browns have gotten better while Pittsburgh has gotten worse?
Sure, but that happened last year. Yet, the Steelers somehow managed to win the AFC North, anyway.
When it comes to free agency, the Steelers will always be more Steven Nelson than Chris Harris. But that’s okay because as I always say, winning in March isn’t quite as exciting as winning in December.
The Steelers may never excite us in the spring, but they always conduct their business with an eye toward winter.