The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Will the Steelers get involved in any of the trade action that has suddenly become the latest craze around the NFL?
Starting with last year’s draft, the NFL has seen more trades take place than ever before, even considering that there was a major trade for a quarterback that was botched because of a clerical error. Tons of trades were made then, late into the offseason, and then just before the trade deadline.
Even the Steelers got involved then, at least during that middle part. During the month of August (and into the early days of September?), they made not one, two, or even three, but in fact five different trades, all of which affected their roster.
I don’t recall the precise order in which those trades were made, but the biggest of the bunch was the acquisition of tight end Vance McDonald and an early fifth-round pick for a late fourth. They also acquired J.J. Wilcox, as safety, for a late pick, while dealing wide receiver Sammie Coates and cornerback Ross Cockrell for late picks as well. Many forget, but they also dealt a depth center for cornerback Dashaun Phillips, who spent the entire season on the practice squad and who has NFL experience.
The Steelers don’t often get involved in the trade business, but recent developments, especially the ability to trade compensatory picks and the evolution of the rookie pay scale, have facilitated a changing culture of younger general managers more willing to make deals.
As of this writing, at least 10 trades have been agreed to before the start of the new league year, meaning that they can’t even be official yet. While I’m not suggesting they will trade Le’Veon Bell or Martavis Bryant (feel free to call the accompanying image clickbait, because yeah, that’s what it was), it’s not inconceivable that they might explore the market as well.
Heck, the Green Bay Packers just dealt Damarious Randall, maybe they’ll deal HaHa Cinton-Dix too? It started as a crackpot theory with no evidence, but over a third of the league has already participated in agreeing to trades over the past few weeks, so you can’t rule anything out.