Any time a big name NFL player places themselves on the trade market I think to myself whether or not they would be a fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers, both schematically and financially. This time we find former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore on the block. In this article I will look at reasons why the Steelers should be, and shouldn't be, interested in the All-Pro cornerback.
#Patriots star CB Stephon Gilmore, who wants a new contract and is rehabbing from a partially torn quad, is not present at the team’s mandatory minicamp today, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 14, 2021
*(Spelling fixed, no thanks to autocorrect)
Let’s start with the positives, firstly Stephon Gilmore is the ultimate shutdown corner. You can put Gilmore on any defense in the league, telling him to shadow any receiver in the game, and Gilmore will blanket them for four straight quarters. Playing opposite of Joe Haden, that duo would represent two of the smartest corners in the game and a steady veteran presence. Contractually, the acquiring team would only be on the hook for $7,735,294 on the final year of Gilmore’s deal, however he is looking for an extension on top of that. But let’s not forget we are just two years removed from his Defensive Player of the Year season and would be stepping into one of the best defenses in football.
Trading for Gilmore would also take the Steelers defense to another level. The secondary would be the best unit in the league to go along with the best pass rushers in football. Basically, the other team won't be throwing on this team at all. Also, a big move like this would give the Steelers its best shot at hoisting a Lombardi in the twilight years of the Ben Roethlisberger era.
However, the Steelers are facing a pseudo rebuild of sorts. The Steelers only have three players over the age of 30 under contract past 2022, and one of them is a kicker. There is no doubt about this Steelers team transitioning to a brand new leadership group, and all of those guys are in their mid-20’s. Would they really want to spend a ton of cash on a guy way older than their primary core? I think the fair answer is no, that is unless they believed they are cursed when it comes to drafting corners...
The Steelers have been more bold with their team building moves lately, but I can’t see them dealing a second or first round pick for a guy on the wrong side of thirty for perhaps only one season. Perhaps if the salary cap didn't drop but this doesn't feel like the right time to be making a trade like this.
But what do you think? Should the Steelers chase Stephon Gilmore and try to take one more shot at a Super Bowl? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.