On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a move to acquire wide receiver Ryan Switzer and a sixth-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft for their future fifth-round pick. Switzer, who is the seventh player that the team has acquired via trade in the past four seasons, seems a shoe-in to make the team as a return specialist and developing talent at his natural skill position.
The following day, the Steelers also cleared a bit of cap space by converting likely just under $3 million of Vance McDonald’s scheduled base salary in 2018 into a signing bonus, which would add a little over $2 million in cap space for this season.
Now, it should go without saying that there is at least some tie between those moves, not to mention the contract extensions for Vince Williams and Chris Boswell, both of which ticked their originally scheduled 2018 salary cap numbers north just a bit.
But they did not necessarily have to make this move. Perhaps they would like to have a bit more of a cushion than they normally would, as would be expected as the minimum salary for players rises every year, and they’d like to avoid a situation where they have to do a restructure in the middle of the year. They also still need to account for a practice squad in addition to a 52nd and 53rd roster player.
Or perhaps it is a move made with another in mind. Another trade, perhaps. After all, over the course of the past three seasons, they have made multiple trades for players in two of those years. They brought in three players in 2017, though only two made the roster (the other spending the season on the practice squad).
Believe it or not, but the Steelers have actually been one of the most active teams in making trades at this time of year over recent seasons, though that his skewed pretty heavily by last year’s activities. They brought three players in, but also traded two players away. Five trades over a short period of time.
There are areas of the roster for which it would make sense to bring in a player. You know which positions they are, so I don’t really have to point them out. The Steelers already addressed one need in a trade by adding a specialist in the return game, but they could look to add to another position of weakness as well.
I suppose this is one of those “I’m not saying, I’m just saying” articles. I’m not saying the Steelers are preparing to make a second trade. I’m just saying that, you know, maybe they might be. After all, there is recent history to suggest they will look to do so.
The Steelers made a trade for a player as late as the Monday before their first regular season game last year, sending a sixth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for safety J.J. Wilcox and a seventh-round pick.