The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?
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: Would you rather see Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell receive a Super Bowl ring?
For many of you, I’m sure the preferred answer is neither, but that’s not an option. It will be one or the other. One of these formerly great offensive players for the Pittsburgh Steelers will leave tonight’s game with the right to a Super Bowl ring, with Antonio Brown on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Le’Veon Bell on the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s entirely possible that neither of them play a meaningful, or at least significant, role in the outcome of the game, because both of them are serving as depth for their teams. But everybody who is a part of the team gets a ring just the same.
Neither player had a particularly clean departure with the Steelers. In the case of Brown, he forced his way off of the team a year after signing a huge new contract extension, unhappy with the deal (and perhaps Ben Roethlisberger), to the point where he went AWOL and demanded to be traded.
Bell didn’t do that, but he did sit out the 2018 season without informing anybody with the team what his intentions were, or being in communication with them during that time, allowing the question to linger throughout the majority of the season.
And then when he signed with the New York Jets, like Brown, he extensively badmouthed his former employer and some of his former teammates during an interview, with Roethlisberger in particular being in the crosshairs. They burned a lot of bridges, and as a result, a lot of Steelers fans are not exactly wishing them well, but one of them will be a champion today. Which one would you rather it be?