You may recall for the past several offseasons that I ran an article series called The Optimist’s/Pessimist’s Take. I used it to explore different issues and topics the Pittsburgh Steelers were facing and took a positive or negative approach, examining each side in a separate article. This is essentially the same idea behind that, only condensed into one article for every topic.
In this version of the idea, I’ll be playing the Devil’s Advocate for both sides of the issue, looking at the best-case and worst-case scenarios in trying to find the range of likely outcomes of what is likely to happen for the Steelers relating to whatever topic the article is covering.
When it comes to the process of trying to construct a championship roster, the reality is that there are a ton of moving parts, and several ways to acquire said parts. There are a lot of things that can go right or wrong in not always predictable ways, so I think it’s helpful to try to look at issues by seeking out the boundaries of the likely positive or negative results.
Topic: Should the Steelers have re-signed Shamarko Thomas instead of adding Daimion Stafford?
There has been a surprising amount of safety news recently since the Steelers failed to take one in the draft. While they did not re-sign Shamarko Thomas, they did sign Daimion Stafford from the Titans, who has both special teams and defensive credentials.
While it’s unclear whether or how much the team might be looking at Stafford as a potential defensive contributor, it’s pretty clear that the Steelers were disappointed in how Thomas developed in that regard. Still, he was a core special-teams contributor and their best gunner.
Yesterday, the Jets signed Thomas after trading a safety away to the Browns, so the question is, should the Steelers have just kept Thomas? At the very least, he already has four years of familiarity not just with the defensive coordinator but the special teams group.
If the team has a mind toward playing that moneybacker role, that is potentially something that Thomas could have done. While he flamed out before even being ignited as a starter, he has played very limited snaps before, and he is a big hitter with coverage ability.
While Stafford may not be as maneuverable, however, he has the big hits going for him, and he also has the experience going for him. In some ways, he is the actuality while Thomas is the potentiality, as the former Titan has already done while might be asked of from whoever plays this role.
Ultimately, it would seem that it comes down to the fact that the Steelers did not feel Thomas was worth re-signing. They had all offseason to do it, but ultimately elected to sign somebody else. Even if they are moving on from a known to an unknown.
Which side do you lean closer toward?