For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the name Keenan Lewis should still sting a bit. After all, it was Lewis the team should have signed to a long-term contract in 2013, but when Lewis jettisoned to play for his hometown team, the New Orleans Saints, the team responded with a knee-jerk signing of Cortez Allen.
As you read this, Allen is no longer part of the team, and Lewis was recently released from the Saints. Most Steelers fans have been asking, "Should the team bring back Lewis?"
It is tempting, but I would steer clear of the 30-year old defensive back.
Sure, the Steelers could use a veteran presence in the secondary. With Senquez Golson likely out for the season, the team is looking to have Doran Grant as the player off the bench if something happens to their top three defensive backs in William Gay, Ross Cockrell and rookie Sean Davis.
If Lewis had a clean bill of health, and just wanted out of New Orleans, that would be a completely different scenario. However, he has been battling hip injuries, among others. Check out just how battered the defensive back has been throughout 2015 and in the 2016 offseason, per NFL.com.
"Lewis was limited to only six games last season because of surgeries for an MCL tear, torn labrum and sports hernia. Lewis was dealing with a hip problem this offseason."
Sound like a player you want on the Pittsburgh Steelers? Not to me. It is unclear right now if he is even healthy enough to play this year at all.
So, the next logical question is, "Well, if you don't want Lewis, who would you sign to help bolster the team's cornerback depth?"
First, I would not trade away a pick, a la Brandon Boykin from the Eagles in 2015, but I would look to duplicate the Ross Cockrell signing last year. Wait until teams have to trim their roster from 90 players to 75, or even until they trim them down to the final 53-man rosters. There will be quality players released, and by quality I mean better than those who are currently on the team's roster, and the Steelers could certainly benefit from their services.
Some would say this is playing with fire, considering there isn't a guarantee another Cockrell-type is released, but the Steelers can ill afford to trade away draft picks, and have to trust the players currently on the roster are good enough to win with behind a front seven which seems to be vastly improved in 2016.
Time will tell what the Steelers' secondary will look like when the team plays Washington in Week 1, but I would only hope Keenan Lewis isn't a part of that crew.