The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 league year has been interesting, to say the least. Whether it is the dip in the 2021 salary cap, them having to trim the proverbial fat to be compliant or the moves which have been made, the Steelers’ offseason is off to an intriguing start.
One thing the offseason shouldn’t be to fans is surprising.
This isn’t to suggest there haven’t been moves made which have made fans say, “Hmmmm” but it shouldn’t come as a shock.
In retrospect, the move which has, and still is, causing the most controversy has to be the Steven Nelson saga. The Steelers had a decision to make with their starting cornerbacks, and it looks like the organization chose Joe Haden over Nelson. This isn’t to suggest the play of Haden has been that much better than Nelson, but the team has to find ways to maneuver their way through these uneasy financial times.
Nelson was just the one to feel the brunt of the situation.
This saga aside, not much which has transpired so far should have shocked the fan base. Sure, keeping Mike Hilton is something fans wanted, but most knew it would come down to Hilton or Cam Sutton. The team prioritized Sutton in this situation.
Fans should have known keeping players like Bud Dupree or Matt Feiler would be near to impossible, and that came to fruition. Keeping someone like Zach Banner was always in the cards for the Steelers, and them signing him to a new contract just seemed like another of the puzzle pieces coming together.
Does all this mean the Steelers will be contenders for a Super Bowl title in 2021? Far from it. But what it does show is the Steelers are following their script when it comes to offseason moves. They prioritized certain players, Sutton and Banner, and then took a wait-and-see approach after. This approach was able to land them players like JuJu Smith-Schuster on a very team-friendly deal, and will be the approach which lands them more players throughout this offseason.
Fans who want to take to comment sections and social media voicing their disgust over the organizational decisions made thus far, have at it. You have the right to say, and feel, whatever you want. But under these unprecedented times, especially with the salary cap, you have to be impressed with what the Steelers have done thus far.
There were always going to be times when this offseason was going to be tough. Watching players jettison Pittsburgh for other pastures is never easy, but so far the Steelers have handled a ridiculous amount of free agents, and a decreasing salary cap, with about as much ease as anyone could expect.
This offseason has been a lot of things, but being a shock to the fan base shouldn’t be one of them. With all that said, also remember the Steelers aren’t done making moves. More players will sign elsewhere, but with the 17th game of the regular season getting finalized soon, the Steelers should be able to create more space to make more moves.
Stay tuned, this show is far from over.