Yes, the Steelers did just make a trade with the Washington Redskins for a depth cornerback named Dashaun Phillips, and in 2015 they traded with the Philadelphia Eagles for Brandon Boykin, but the time is now for the Steelers to actually follow their cross-state rivals lead and make an impact trade prior to Week 1.
What am I talking about? The Eagles have been busy this preseason trading players away to improve their team, and increase their chances of winning in 2017. E
ven on Sunday morning Philly pulled the trigger on another trade.
The reason this strikes a chord with me is how the Steelers should be in “win-now” mode with Ben Roethlisberger entering the late portion of his career, and potentially the last year of his career.
After the Week 3 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts, it became evident the Steelers are in need of help on the back end of their defense. Ross Cockrell looks like a player lacking confidence, Coty Sensabaugh doesn’t look like the answer, and Robert Golden is having one horrendous preseason. If something were to happen to Sean Davis or Mike Mitchell, the lack of depth at safety could be something very difficult to overcome.
Trying to find players to trade for is the easy part, but the difficult part of the equation is getting rid of players to maximize trade value for both parties. There is no position deeper for Pittsburgh than at wide receiver. Plain and simple, there are going to be some receivers cut by the Steelers who could see significant snaps for other NFL organizations.
Who should go? Here are some viable trade options for the Steelers to bring in some defensive help for the 2017 season:
He is the starting slot cornerback, but sometimes you have to give up an impact player to get an impact player. If JuJu Smith-Schuster can stay healthy, which looks like a big if so far, he could easily step in for Rogers and help solidify the position.
While his 2016 season ended in disappointment, he has the first four weeks, prior to injury, of last year to hang his hat on. It would be a “potential” trade, and while the Steelers wouldn’t get a big return for Coates, he could help them when it comes to trade value.
Although he has been injured for the majority of the preseason, Ayers is a dual threat as a receiver and return man. He could easily step onto an NFL roster and see time as a return man/slot receiver.
Justin Hunter/Darrius Heyward-Bey
Big, fast and versatile receivers like Hunter and DHB could both be valuable to teams who have suffered injuries in their receiving corps. Not really starters, but players who are willing to fill out depth positions and play special teams could be something very attractive to other NFL teams.
I’m not suggesting the Steelers trade away ALL of these players, but if there is a potential trade partner for one of these players I would certainly be fielding phone calls. Actually, I would be the one picking up the phone trying to find a team willing to make a deal.
Don’t sell the farm, but make trades which better your team without hurting your own roster. The Steelers have this luxury this preseason, and waiting for cuts to be made won’t land you a player who will make a bonafide difference this season.
Time to make some moves because the Steelers should be 100-percent in “win-now” mode.