The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, in which they entered with big aspirations, in spite of a tumultuous start to the offseason. Significant players were lost via trade and free agency, players who have helped shape the course of the franchise in recent years. We even now sit here without Ben Roethlisberger after just two games.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they have new starters. And quarterback was suddenly added to that list.
How will the season progress without Roethlisberger, behind Mason Rudolph? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in games? Who is sitting out due to injury?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will the Steelers be looking to trade anybody before the deadline?
Ordinarily, when asking the question, I think the obvious answer would be no, or at least, most likely not. This season, however, has been far from ordinary for the Steelers. They spent big in free agency. They made a big trade in the draft. They traded multiple players away, including one of their best. They made multiple in-season trades, and gave up a first-round pick to do it.
Most stunning of all, they had only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for most of the year.
So when we consider this question now, all I ask is that you keep an open mind, because if I asked you similar questions about all of the above back in January, the answer to almost all of them would have been a decided no, because it’s not how they do business.
And it’s fair to think that the Steelers might have some players that other people want. After all, they have had three players, all of them undrafted free agents who had never played a snap before, claimed off of waivers since the end of the preseason, those being Diontae Spencer, Tuzar Skipper, and most recently, Fred Johnson.
So let’s say they’re open to making a trade. Who would they be looking to get something for, if they could? They already got a fifth-round pick for Joshua Dobbs (an in-season trading away of a player, another ‘never gonna happen’ box they checked off).
Could a team be interested in Artie Burns, after coming off of a solid start? The New York Giants were able to unload Eli Apple last year during the season, so it’s possible. He may be literally the only tradeable candidate other teams might look at, though. They are too thin at other positions to try to move anybody. Chukwuma Okorafor could have been an option had they not lost Johnson, for example.