The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: The Steelers will make at least one trade before the Saturday deadline to cut down from 91 players to 53.
Explanation: The Steelers have made at least on trade in August every year since 2013, so there is certainly a history there. That has always included adding a player, but this is a deeper roster than they have had since then.
Six consecutive years of making trades is hard to ignore, for sure. And it’s not as though there are no weak spots on the roster. As everybody in the comments section will mention, both the tight end and safety positions can be upgraded, even if there is enough talent to get by with.
Then there’s the opposite direction, where they can trade a player. The Steelers have the potential at, for example, wide receiver or along the offensive line, to move somebody for a draft resource. Alex Kozora threw out Eli Rogers, but perhaps somebody else could be worth a look as well. It sure would be nice to get something for Jerald Hawkins, too, who clearly looks to be on the outside looking in behind Zach Banner as the number four tackle.
If a trade is made, it’s more likely to be sending a player away than bringing one in, because the Steelers don’t have as much of a depth issue at any position as many on the outside are inclined to think, and again, I’m going to talk specifically about tight end and safety.
While Xavier Grimble may not be the greatest number two in the world, he is a good blocker, and that’s the first and foremost job of that role, something he’s done for years. They even have packages in which he’s the only tight end on the field.
Then there’s safety, where they’ve seen Kameron Kelly emerge. He’s not only going to be the number three safety, he’s going to play in sub-packages. He may even start the opener. Either Jordan Dangerfield or Marcus Allen would be sufficient for the number four role, and realistically, it’s hard to fit a fifth safety on the team anyway.