The Steelers are a team trying to find themselves in 2022. Despite an encouraging victory in Week 6 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there are still many holes on this team that should be under the microscope if the team really wants to compete in 2022.
T.J. Watt’s imminent return after the Bye Week, Week 9, offers a hopeful horizon for fans to eye. We’ve already seen what this defense is capable of when its stars are healthy and attacking in a Week 1 defensive drubbing of the Bengals. The offense is finding a little bit of a footing, but still is an underwhelming unit that needs to give more for this team to be successful.
With the NFL Trade Deadline approaching rapidly, Friday, November 1, the Steelers should be giving a long look to some areas where they need improvement. There are some really good options potentially on the trade block, as well as in Free Agency that could catch the eye of Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin.
According to Spotrac.com, the Steelers currently own the 10th most cap space in the NFL, but that sounds better than it looks at just over $7.25M in actual money. Omar Khan could make it work if the Steelers wanted to make a move.
So let’s take a look at three moves the Steelers should strongly consider making in the next week. I’ll list them in order of priority according to yours truly, but you can let me know your vote for the most pressing need in the POLL at the end of the article and comment any other players you’d like to see the Steelers pursue.
NOTE: Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network wrote a fantastic article of potential trade candidates from each NFL team, and his work was a great resource for this exercise. You can find his article here.
1. FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR KEVIN DOTSON AT LEFT GUARD
Trade: Oli Udo (Vikings), Isaiah Wynn (Patriots)
Free Agent: Ereck Flowers
The Vikings’ Oli Udoh is a solid Guard option with youth and starting experience and would be an immediate upgrade on Dotson, and he’d be reunited with a former teammate in Mason Cole. Instant chemistry!
Isaiah Wynn has been a disappointment at OT for the Patriots, but the Steelers could spark new life with a position change for a once-dominant player for the Georgia Bulldogs. Wynn is a bully at the point of attack and could be what the doctor ordered at LG.
Flowers would be the late vet signing, and though physically he might not offer more than Dotson, technically and mentally he could be a real upgrade. If I’m the Steelers, I’d take it.
2. ADD A DIFFERENCE-MAKING CORNERBACK
Trade: Sidney Jones (Seattle)
This is about the only move that would be worth making, but boy would it be a big add for the Steelers. With injuries plaguing the group and inconsistent play from the team’s top guys, Sidney Jones could take over as the Steelers top CB with the ability to play zone or man effectively.
3. UPGRADE LEFT TACKLE ON THE CHEAP WHILE YOU CAN
Trade: Andre Dillard (Eagles), Josh Jones (Cardinals), Cameron Erving (Panthers)
Free Agents: Eric Fisher, Daryl Williams
Starting in Free Agency, the Steelers could grab a former number 1 overall pick in Fisher, who still has some left in the tank. It’s honestly hard to believe he’s not on a roster. The same could be said for former Buffalo Bill Daryl Williams, who can play either tackle spot and is still not yet 30 years old.
On the trade front, Andre Dillard is simply the odd man out in Philly, but would immediately be the best tackle on the Steelers roster. If the Eagles are willing to move him, the Steelers should REALLY look hard at Dillard.
Josh Jones is also buried on the Cardinals depth chart, but has legitimate starting upside right away if given the opportunity. If the Steelers could pry him away from Arizona, you’re looking at a 3rd year guy with pedigree ready to make his mark on the league. Stealing Jones away from AZ would be a great move by Pittsburgh.
The Panthers are in giveaway mode, so grabbing a guy like Cameron Erving would be cheap, and his experience and technical savvy would make him a cheap upgrade on Moore in the short term.
OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH:
EDGE: Lorenzo Carter (Falcons), Clelin Ferrell (Raiders)
DL: Jerry Tillery (Chargers), Michael Brockers (Lions)
LB: Roquan Smith
Which issue is the most pressing for the Steelers to address?
This poll is closed