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Steelers trade for Buccaneers safety J.J. Wilcox; roster moves await

The Pittsburgh Steelers make yet another trade to bolster their secondary by acquiring former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety J.J. Wilcox.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a very strange week for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A team that usually goes into battle with the players they have on their roster, the team has been wheeling and dealing up until preparation for Week 1 begins.

They traded with the 49ers for tight end Vance McDonald, they acquired free agent cornerback Joe Haden, traded both Ross Cockrell and Sammie Coates on cut down day, and they most recently traded a 6th round draft pick to Tampa Bay for the services of J.J. Wilcox.

The move to acquire a safety makes sense, especially with Mike Mitchell’s injured hamstring anything but certain for the start of the regular season, but the trade also makes for a couple tough decisions for the Steelers.

With Wilcox, and the addition of Le’Veon Bell coming soon, the team’s roster currently sits at 55 players. Two too many. It is believed the team will place cornerback Cameron Sutton on injured reserve, where he can eventually return to the team, but it still leaves them one over the league mandated number.

So, the team will have to get rid of a player, or put another player on injured reserve. The clear choice could be Jordan Dangerfield, who is a safety and suffered an ankle sprain in the final preseason game, but they could also part ways with a player if they feel that is the best course of action.

Either way you look at it, this trade bolsters the Steelers’ secondary, and adds depth at a position of need for Pittsburgh moving forward.

Wilcox is a big hitting safety who played for the Dallas Cowboys, before going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2017 season. He has a ton of playing experience, and gives the Steelers three safeties who could either be on the field at the same time, or three capable players to vie for playing time.

The most likely of scenarios is Mitchell, who hasn’t seen the field since the first padded practice of training camp, isn’t ready to play Week 1, and Wilcox could fill in for him in the meantime. A lot will depend on how fast he can pick up the defense and not be a liability on the field.

Stay tuned to BTSC for more on this, and other stories, surrounding the Steelers.