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 re-signing Cassius Marsh, officially parting ways with Steven Nelson, Chase Claypool’s TMZ tussle Bud Dupree’s letter of love to Steeltown and Tyson Alualu changing his mind by spurring Jacksonville to stay in black-and-gold. It seems like the musical selection that best fits this week’s Fact or Fiction could be the hit from 2000, “Change Your Mind” by Sister Hazel.
Here’s a sample of that great single...
Did you ever think there might be another way
To just feel better, baby, just feel better about today
Oh no, if you never wanna have to turn and go away
Babe, you might feel better, might feel better if you stay
I bet you haven’t heard a word I’ve said
And yeah, yeah
If you’ve had enough of all your tryin’
Just give up the state of mind you’re in
If you wanna be somebody else
If you’re tired of fighting battles, baby, with yourself
If you wanna be somebody else
Change your mind, yeah
Change your mind, oh yeah, yeah
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 2000’s 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.
Tyson Alualu’s change of heart proves that happiness can be gained even with less money
Tyson Alualu agreed to leave the Steelers, where he made his home for the past four years, for Jacksonville and the locker room of his first six NFL seasons. But a bout with Covid-19 hit him and No. 94 never had a chance to fly to Duval to put ink to his new deal. After having time to think, conversations with defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and realizing that his dream home, kids’ school and family happiness was in Pittsburgh... Alualu decided he wanted to stay. I wouldn’t blame Jacksonville for being angry, but Tyson didn’t spurn the Jags for more money. He stayed in Pittsburgh for less, the Steelers’ original offer. In the end, Alualu still is getting a nice pay check. But he chose a happy family over more money.
There is no true winner in the Steelers/Steven Nelson separation
This is the truth for this current era of the NFL. Good players are going to get released when it would have been unheard of to do so in other decades. Why? When you can get a player that has a market value so high that a front office feels that they could fill a few other spots, the franchise is regretfully going to part ways with said player. On the other hand, good players are going to think that they are worth more than the franchise is willing to pay them and it’s not because they are delusional. It’s because they are seeing other players paid that much and rightfully want it as well because of their valuable production on the field. We can speculate all we want on whether Nelson turned down an extension by the Steelers or whether they told him he didn’t fit the black-and-gold budget. Both the Steelers and Steven Nelson are victims of NFL circumstance here. Who is a percentage higher in the wrong, the facts aren’t available to tell. But both sides might end up in the loss column here. Nelson could get a sweet deal, but it’s less likely as the free agency period nears an end. The most likely winner is the team that ends up with Nelson for less than what he’s worth.
JuJu Smith-Schuster’s value will be even less as a free agent next season
I made a tongue-in-cheek comment that JuJu Smith-Schuster might be selfish next season on a recent podcast, but I should have used quotation marks. JuJu took a hometown discount to stay in Pittsburgh for another season for less than what his value actually is. No. 19 probably won’t be doing the same next season and that’s okay. He should follow the money and if the Steelers have it, I hope they have every reason to give it to him. JuJu leaves it all on the field and this offseason should be even more of an incentive for the receiver to ball out more than he already does. Even if his play isn’t at an All-Pro level, JuJu should get a fat increase and win the bet that he placed on himself.
Bud Dupree will be cheered the minute he steps foot in Heinz Field this season as a Titan
Bud Dupree’s situation was different than that of JuJu and Alualu. The gap between the Ravens, Chiefs and Jaguars and the Steelers wasn’t light years apart when it comes to the two players that eventually took less to stay in Pittsburgh. But when it comes to No. 48’s market value, I would have advised him to not pass up the offers. There was no way that the Steelers could approach Bud’s value and keep him, while still fielding a team without holes in 2021. Some fans may feel bitter that Alvin left for a greener wallet and that’s their perogative. But after Bud wrote an article this week about the beauty of playing in Pittsburgh, for the Rooney Family, Mike Tomlin, the fans of the Steel City and the glory of the black screen that precedes “Renegade”...fans will respect the love that Bud had for playing in their town since 2015. My bet is that there’ll be plenty of towels flying in favor of 48, even though he’ll be wearing navy blue, Titans blue, red, silver and white.
Chase Claypool’s fight caught by TMZ is a big deal
The Steelers sensational rookie from Notre Dame getting caught on camera and going viral is not a big deal. It’s a ginormous deal. Now I do agree with Tony Defeo’s article on Behind The Steel Curtain, that while the poor judgement to partake in the brawl is a red flag, it’s definitely not a deal breaker. But the fact of the matter remains that the actions of Chase kicking a man is very disconcerting. I have no idea what started the melee and Claypool could have been merely defending himself, but Chase can’t put himself in that situation. I’d be a hypocrite if I said that I was above that kind of thing when I was 22, because I found myself on the precipice of that situation when I was a senior in college. I did, however, turn the other cheek and relent. No. 11 has the right to go out and enjoy himself, but surveying the landscape and keeping one’s self out of those situations is something that Chase Claypool should work on.
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.