Here’s something that might just get your mind off the Pittsburgh Steelers losing Sunday night to the Baltimore Ravens and it even includes running back Le’Veon Bell being shipped out of town.
Like something fresh off the front pages of Bleacher Report, renown Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero wrote Monday morning that the Steelers should trade Bell to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for wide receiver DeVante Parker. Parker, a former first-round draft pick who has played in all of one game so far this season for the Dolphins and caught all of 2 passes for 40 yards.
Below is Salguero’s twisted and seemingly unresearched reasoning as to why the Steelers would be wise to trade Bell for Parker:
For the Steelers it makes sense because they’d be offered a wide receiver with talent who can help — at least a little bit — right away.
I get it, Parker is often injured and hasn’t lived up to expectations in Miami. But perhaps a change of scenery … and a better quarterback … and offensive system … and coaches might help him finally gain traction.
The Steelers may like this idea because they get something for Bell immediately. And because Parker is under club control for next season at the fifth-year option rate, Pittsburgh is not getting a rental for a couple of months. If he works out, Parker can be on the Steelers in 2019 or even beyond.
For starters, if the Steelers did trade for Parker, the Louisville product would need a few weeks just to get himself up to speed with the Pittsburgh offense. Secondly, Salguero surely must have overlooked the Steelers drafting of wide receiver James Washington this year in the second-round. Washington, like it or not, will be the Steelers No. 3 wide receiver moving forward and with good reason. That means that, at best, Parker would be a No. 4 wide receiver for the Steelers.
While Parker does have a history of being a return man, the Steelers have already found themselves a capable one of those in wide receiver Ryan Switzer, who has already managed to make a small impact on offense in addition. Unless Parker suddenly becomes a great punt or kickoff coverage guy, he’d basically be a newer version of wide receiver Justin Hunter to the Steelers and a slightly more expensive one at that as his 2018 base salary is a little more than $1.9 million.
Salguero goes on to write that he understands that Parker is often injured and that he believes a change of scenery might help the wide receiver “finally gain traction” after him failing to live up to expectations with the Dolphins since being drafted. In short, Salguero thinks the Steelers should take on another Hunter or Darrius Heyward-Bey-type player.
Just like a bad used car salesman, Salguero has another poor selling point when it comes to him attempting to pawn Parker off on the Steelers in exchange for Bell. The columnist would like all to know that the Steelers wouldn’t necessarily have a rental player on their hands in Parker because he’s currently wearing an exercised fifth-year option for 2019. Yeah, that’s great, a wide receiver that has yet to live up to expectations with a 2019 price tag of over $9 million. Acquiring such as player would at least make Steelers fans forget all about the team picking up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Bud Dupree this past offseason.
Basically, unless Parker came in and finally lit the NFL on fire to close out the 2018 regular season after one of the three wide receivers ahead of him on the Pittsburgh depth chart went down injured, the Steelers would have to cut the former first-round draft pick prior to the start of the 2019 new league year in March before his 2019 salary became fully guaranteed. In cutting Parker, the Steelers would not receive any compensatory draft pick value, something they would surely get if they retain Bell the remainder of this season and let him leave via free agency in March of 2019.
“If he works out, Parker can be on the Steelers in 2019 or even beyond,” Salguero writes.
Yeah, nice try, Armando. Just the kind of gamble the Steelers have been known to make dating back to the mid-60s.
Now, had Salguero suggested the Dolphins trade a third-round draft pick plus Parker to the Steelers in exchange for Bell, assuming the running back ever decides to show up and sign his franchise tag tender prior to this year’s deadline and agree to being traded, I’d be less harsh in my criticism of his recent column. However, all Salguero did suggest was Parker “and maybe something else,” which it seems he added to his original post after I called his idea “silliness” on Twitter.
Via Twitter, Salguero responded to me with the tweet you see below, and he obviously hasn’t followed me saying for quite a while now that I’m not convinced the Steelers will trade Bell at all. I’ve never even really broached the return value conversation because I think it’s fruitless to do. However, even if I were to entertain trade value talk for Bell, it obviously would start at a third-round draft pick as that’s the compensatory value the Steelers should receive should Bell sign elsewhere during the 2019 free agency period. The Dolphins could give the Steelers a bag of footballs and a third-round pick for Bell and as far as I’m concerned, the two teams could then call it square.
Salguero wrote the below in his Monday column:
“I don’t usually write these Dolphins-should-trade-for-player-name-here columns. Too simplistic. Low hanging fruit. So, I leave it to others.”
Yes, he should leave these kinds of columns to others because it’s clear he doesn’t think them out fully enough before penning them. They then become low hanging fruit for the well-educated blahgers such as me to rip apart.
Let me end this post by saying that I have read Salguero and his coverage of the Dolphins for eons and will continue to do so moving forward. Even so, he needs to know when and when not to stay in his own lane and this is one instance where he should have stayed on his side of the Miami highway as his low hanging fruit he delivered to his readers on Monday was full of rot. And silliness.