Most fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are probably now hoping that the team will trade running back Le’Veon Bell prior to this year’s deadline and even though recent reports suggest they are attempting to do just that, odds remain long it will ultimately happen. Additionally, most fans of the Steelers now appear to be hoping the team will trade for veteran Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas as well in the coming weeks.
If you believe the Sunday national media reports, which by the way is a very dangerous thing to do, the Steelers have some level of interest in possibly acquiring Thomas and possibly in exchange for Bell as well.
According to a Sunday morning report by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Steelers are open to trading Bell to the Seahawks in exchange for Thomas, who wants out of Seattle. La Canfora, however, goes on to add in his report that there has yet to be contact between the Steelers and Seahawks about such a trade to this point.
On the heels of La Canfora’s Sunday morning report, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that while the Seahawks are indeed open to trading Thomas, they have refused to budge on their asking price of a 2019 second-round draft pick.
“It is an asking price the Seahawks are ‘stuck’ on, according to a source,” Schefter reported Sunday morning.
Thomas, like Bell, is currently looking for a team to sign him to a lucrative deal as his current one that is paying him a base salary $8.5 million this year expires after the season is over. Thomas has now decided to skip a few practices since reporting to the Seahawks several weeks ago in an effort to make sure he keeps himself fully healthy for a potential lucrative 2019 free agency process. Additionally, Thomas, who is now 29 years of age, has not tried to hide the fact that he would like to end his NFL career with his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, who reportedly attempted to trade for the veteran safety ahead of the regular season starring.
If the Steelers somehow managed to work out a trade for Thomas, they would likely have to place the franchise tag on him after the 2018 season ends in order to strengthen their chances of signing him to a long-term contract moving forward. Do keep in mind, however, that the Steelers generally don’t give long-term lucrative contracts to defensive players either in their 30s or about to enter their 30s unless they had previously been a member of the organization.
The Steelers, however, could decide to rent Thomas for the remainder of 2018 season and then let him walk off via free agency in hopes of receiving a third-round compensatory draft pick value, just like they might be forced to do with Bell.
Personally, much like I’ll be surprised in the Steelers are able to trade Bell in the coming weeks, I’ll be just as shocked if they traded for Thomas. In the meantime, stay tuned because it seems like every Sunday morning so far this season that interesting trade-related “reports” concerning the Steelers surface, even though I believe most of them are fabricated by La Canfora and Ian Rapoport.