The dawn of a new league year is just around the corner, but with the way some free agents have been talking the dawn of a new era in Steelers football may also be on the horizon. Free agents, Adrian Peterson and John Brown went out of their way to mention the Pittsburgh Steelers as possible landing spots within a few hours of themselves on Thursday. Maybe it is just some grand coincidence at play, but this is the Pittsburgh Steelers, they’re never terribly involved in free agency, but that isn't stopping veteran players from bringing up their name.
To try to make some sense out of what has been going on, I present you with every legitimate answer to the question, “Why are free agents talking about the Steelers as a destination?” that I can think of. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but come March 17th we may have the answers we seek.
They Are Desperate
John Brown and Adrian Peterson are third (or more) contract players. A reduced salary cap is going to exterminate much of this class of player. They recognize the Steelers are a team with holes at receiver and running back, and without begging for a job they are making it clear they would want one.
It is very well known players around the NFL want to play for Mike Tomlin. Outside of the prestige and honor of the Steelers organization, if you polled the majority of players which coach would they most want to play for I’m positive you will hear Tomlin’s name more often than not.
This is a spot were people want to play because they know they are getting the honest truth anytime they talk with someone in the organization. They want to play for a coach that is fair, accountable, but most of all they want to play for someone who respects them. Mike Tomlin is that guy.
They Know Something We Don’t
This is by far the most fun category. The list of things we don’t know is endless. But why would a list of veteran players target the Steelers specifically? Do they think this is a championship roster which is just a couple pieces of the puzzle away? Perhaps the Steelers will be the team to bring in a number of older players in an attempt at making a Super Bowl run. Money isn't an issue when everyone involved takes less.
This may be amongst the least likely scenarios but would a team up of old guys anywhere across the league surprise you this year? I’m almost counting on it. Maybe that spot is Pittsburgh.
The Interest Is Mutual
Sure, we haven't hit the ‘legal tampering’ window yet but conversations happen year round. Chats before games, texts between friends, and run-ins from general managers and agents. Things happen, and people talk. John Brown has played against the Steelers for multiple years in a row. Adrian Peterson has been in the game for a really long time. They certainly have some connections with the organization. Perhaps the Steelers feel the same way.
What do you think? Which of these categories do you believe could be right? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.