There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers officially not franchise-tagging Bud Dupree, bringing back a former player, agreeing to a new contract with Marcus Allen, Robert Spillane and Ray-Ray McCloud to stay in the Steel City. It seems like the musical selection that best fits this week’s Fact or Fiction could be the No. 1 hit from 1976, “The Theme from Welcome Back Kotter” by John Sebastian. Here’s a sample of that classic...
“Welcome back, we always could spot a friend. Welcome back and I smile when I think how you must have been. And I know what a scene you were learning in. Was there something that made you come back again? And what could ever lead you back here where we need you? Yeah, we tease him a lot cause we got him on the spot, Welcome back.”
You can ponder the significance or wonder whether they are really related here. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to listen to some great 70s classic rock. But anyhow, there is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.
Are we on point? Only time will tell.
Art Rooney II’s proclamation to add to the Steelers quarterback room will not be anything more than an undrafted free agent or Joshua Dobbs
Let’s remember that Art II made those comments before Ben Roethlisberger’s restructure freed up $15 million dollars of much-needed cap room. We talked about Mason Rudolph last week giving the Steelers their best chance if Ben goes down and we’re talking about him this week earning a base salary of $1,014,801, while carrying a cap hit of $1,247,867. Dwayne Haskins will cost the Steelers $850,000. The Steelers are not likely to get a free agent quarterback for less than $5 million per year besides a player like Josh Dobbs. With the room that they already have in place, the only new quarterback to gain entry to the room is most likely an undrafted free agent.
The Steelers are not going to make an unexpected cut
With the “Super Bowl Window” not shut on the Steelers in 2021, I actually think that the organization doesn’t want to make any cuts. However, they just might have to. If Kevin Colbert and company select a stud inside linebacker or a celebrated corner in the first round, they could cut the salaries of guys like Joe Haden and Vince Williams. Of course, the Steelers may have plans for these veterans, they could restructure with an extension and they may have made promises to them as well. While I definitely want to see No. 23 and No. 98 remain with the Steelers, I just foresee “push coming to shove” and the Steelers having to cut ties with a prized veteran.
The signing of B.J. Finney does not mean the search for the next Steelers’ center is off
It seemed like a no-brainer to bring Finney in at (hopefully) a veteran-minimum deal when the Cincinnati Bengals cut the interior offensive lineman last week. When the Steelers did, some members of Steeler Nation envisioned Finney as the starter forever. But keep in mind that the undrafted free agent was discarded by two teams, the Seahawks and the Bengals, since last October. Finney had value when he was in Pittsburgh and will again, but his versatility and the ability to bridge the gap until the future is drafted, possibly early in 2021.
Attending Pro Days doesn’t mean the Steelers are more serious about drafting a player from that particular school
Just because Mike Tomlin didn’t show up to the North Dakota State Pro Day doesn’t mean that Trey Lance is off of the table. There are tons of Pro Days around the country and the Head Coach can’t be at every single one. NFL coaches have a system of delegation. The Steelers will have a representative at most Pro Days. Adrian Klemm was there presumably scouting OL Dillon Radunz. I would be shocked if the offensive line coach ignored the presence of Lance and I would think that Klemm has already been or is going to be asked to report on the QB prospect. The last No. 1 pick that they didn’t attend one for was Maurkice Pouncey. Flashback to 1987 when Tony Dungy advised Chuck Noll that scouting Rod Woodson was futile and that he’d never be available at No. 10. He was and they drafted him based on what they knew. But do you think if they get an opportunity to draft a player that Kevin Colbert or Tomlin didn’t see up close, that they wouldn’t? I think they would.
Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat in 2021
It could be getting warmer, but it’s like a nice week in late March and not the dog days of August for Coach T. Tomlin is the 21st winningest coach in NFL history and never has had a season under .500 while in charge. Even if the Steelers have a losing record, no matter how loud Dick or Jane Fan yell on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (or even those that are stuck on MySpace)... Mike Pettaway Tomlin is in Pittsburgh until Mike Pettaway Tomlin decides to leave Pittsburgh.
Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game and listen for more on the player below.