The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a plethora of signings over the past few days. One of the moves that was often predicted still has yet to come to fruition. That move being the Steelers brining back former tight end Jesse James. As the days go by, it really feels like the move becomes less and less likely.
Lions released TE Jesse James, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2021
We all know how much the team loves to reunite with former players, especially when they come with a smaller price tag, and, after all, the Steelers have a need at the tight end position. The fit appears perfect from the outside, but yet the move hasn't been made. Perhaps the Steelers have a different vision of how they want to use their tight ends going forward, or perhaps the two sides didn't get over James’ “Kardashians” comment?
When the Detroit Lions released James in early March many Steelers insiders expected the signing would quickly come down the pipeline. As of right now, James is still a street free agent, meaning his signing wouldn't effect the compensatory formula whatsoever. So that begs the question, why hasn't the move already happened?
And honestly, the only way I see James signing with a team at this point is if they don’t land someone in the draft. With a plethora of other needs, it may have made more sense to lockdown their tight end position early in this process, but perhaps there could be a player they want to target in the draft and give a decent amount of playing time in 2021.
James’ unique blend of size, blocking ability, and receiving abilities could provide the Steelers offense some stability and give Ben Roethlisberger a target he has chemistry with. While in Detroit, the Lions inexplicably paid James a ton of cash to just sit him on the bench. His stats suffered, and his value has tanked because of it. A year on a team with some familiar faces, and an obvious hole at the position, could provide James with a role big enough to re-establish himself as a player worth a long term deal. If nothing else, James would provide some much needed depth to this offense.
But what do you think? Will Jesse James once again play for the black and gold or has that ship sailed? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.