With the NFL trade deadline rapidly approaching on Tuesday, October 31 at 4 p.m. ET, it’s clear the Pittsburgh Steelers have plenty of holes that need patching.
The defensive back room is currently depleted, as Minkah Fitzpatrick went down with a hamstring injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars and will miss time. CB Levi Wallace was inactive because of a foot injury as well, so it’s safe to say the team could use reinforcements.
You could also easily make the case that the Steelers could use additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but they have now gone 54 consecutive games without eclipsing the 400-yard mark on offense. The next closest are the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers, who are at 13 consecutive games. Wow.
Today, I put the general manager duties in your hands and asked what players you’d like to see the team acquire before the trade deadline. Let’s go through some of your answers.
An upgrade at cornerback
Levi Wallace and a 2nd to Denver for Surtain— Thomas Hahn (@Thahn531) October 30, 2023
Recently I wrote that the Steelers could be both buyers and sellers at the deadline and suggested that moving on from Wallace would make sense. Patrick Surtain II for my money is the best available player on the “trade market.” Surtain is only 23 years old and is under control through 2024, with the chance to pick up his fifth-year option in the 2025 season.
The problem with this idea is that unfortunately, I don’t think the offer of Wallace and a future second-round draft pick would be enough to acquire Surtain II. My best guess is it’ll cost a first-round pick and some change, similar to what Minkah Fitzpatrick was acquired for in 2019.
More help in the secondary
Chinn, Budda Baker, or Jaylon Johnson makes the most sense for our team if it’s reasonable to be able to get them. One that I personally want for two reasons is Chase Young. If we can get him for a third, it just makes this pass rush even deadlier and you keep him away from BMore— The Dwayne Train (@GuyroWasTaken) October 30, 2023
I’m a big fan of Panthers hybrid safety Jeremy Chinn and Arizona Cardinals Swiss-army knife Budda Baker. Both of these players carry similar skill sets and would provide position flexibility for the Steelers. They can play near the line of scrimmage and really tackle, and they also have the ability to roam in the backend.
Chinn is in the final year of his deal, so he’d likely be a rental. However, last week Chinn was placed on IR with a quad injury. He is considered week to week, but teams are reportedly still interested in his services.
Baker, on the other hand, is getting healthier. He returned from injured reserve a week ago, so he should be at full strength. The Cardinals’ star signed a four-year contract extension this offseason that made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL. It was certainly warranted, as the former second-round pick out of Washington has been a Pro Bowl selection each of his last four seasons.
He’s a better player than Chinn, but his price tag would likely command a first-round pick and more. Also, the Steelers would have to manipulate the cap to make this thing work. Chinn may be the more likely option. I think he could be had for a third and some change. The Steelers need immediate help though, and Chinn wouldn’t be able to provide that.
As for the Washington Commanders Chase Young — I just don’t think he’s a great fit schematically for the Steelers. He profiles as a 4-3 defensive end, and Pittsburgh runs a base 3-4 defense. While Young is a disruptive player, I think he’d be utilized as an outside linebacker - which would put him behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith in the pecking order. That isn’t worth the asking price in my opinion.
How about a familiar face?
Get Terrell Edmunds back— Jerome Murphy (@al55092142) October 30, 2023
I actually think this is a good idea. Want someone who can fill in for Fitzpatrick immediately? Check. Want someone who knows the system? Check. Want someone that won’t cost much in terms of draft capital? Another check.
The former Steelers safety was recently traded to the Tennessee Titans in a package for All-Pro safety Kevin Byard.
Although the Titans had a big win against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, I can’t imagine they view themselves as much of a contender — meaning Edmunds should be on the block.
Thanks for putting your GM caps on today. I have a feeling that Khan and the Steelers will make a move before the deadline.
Who knows, maybe they’ll be taking your advice?