The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: What was the most surprising thing that we saw around the league or with the Steelers on opening day?
I should probably preface this by saying that if you were significantly surprised by the fact that the Steelers did not come out of the first day of free agency with a new starting cornerback, then you may well be easily surprised. While I do believe that they were legitimately pursuing the possibility of some of the names that we saw them connected with, the value that they ended up signing for clearly demonstrates how unlikely it was that they would have landed in Pittsburgh.
That said, the re-upping with Landry Jones did seem to take a few by surprise, a demographic that neatly correlated with the group that passionately wanted the Steelers to avoid bringing him back, I would imagine.
But the real surprises came around the league, and honestly, it would probably be pretty hard to top the Browns’ acquisition of the Texans’ 2018 second-round pick—oh and Brock Osweiler too. No seriously, go read their press release about the trade. Their focus was on the pick, not the player. He was an afterthought.
But they also pilfered Kevin Zeitler away from the Bengals, and Andrew Whitworth left Cincinnati for the Rams. The latter in particular was a surprise, while the destination of the former was the cause for the raising of eyebrows, even though he wasn’t expected to be retained.
The Ravens surprised by being able to retain Brandon Williams, making him the highest-paid nose tackle, and they did so will picking up Mike Wallace’s option and adding a couple of free agents on their own.
What will be in store for us as we enter day two of free agency? Who else might the Patriots trade for? Might the Steelers eve be interested in Martellus Bennett? When will they look for a running back?