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: Tuzar Skipper will find his way back to Pittsburgh.
Explanation: The Steelers likely knew they were taking a risk when they waived Tuzar Skipper, waiting until Saturday to do so when it would be less likely for him to be claimed, but the New York Giants ended up taking him. History shows, however, that such players often do not stick.
If a player like Al-Hajj Shabazz can circle his way back, then Tuzar Skipper certainly can. The Giants are not incredibly deep at the outside linebacker position, but at the same time, they also only have five defensive linemen (in a 3-4). It’s certainly possible that that becomes an issue for them later in the season that requires them to add a body there, and Skipper would likely be the low man on the totem pole as the fifth outside linebacker on the depth chart, and new to the team. They haven’t even officially announced his acquisition.
I don’t think there’s much of any doubt that the Steelers would try to re-claim him, either. Especially given that they signed Jayrone Elliott, an outside linebacker that they released ahead of him, to take his spot on the team. Elliott would be waived if Skipper were to be re-acquired.
New York has only recently converted back to a 3-4 model within the past couple of years, and as such, they need all the help they can get at the flagship position of that defensive front. The Giants also have four tight ends and four running backs, and 26 offensive players in total, so if they do need to open a roster spot, it need not come from the outside linebacker position.
And remember, while the Giants were awarded Skipper off waivers, they had an early waiver claim. For all we know, four other teams ahead of the Steelers in the pecking order also put in a waiver claim and would do so again should he be waived a second time.