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 should bring back Sean Davis as a strong third safety option who can back up both safety positions.
Explanation: After the Steelers traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Sean Davis’ time with the team was over. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal with Washington, but when he lost out on a starting job, he was let go, despite a signing bonus for I believe $2 million. The Steelers quickly re-signed him to be a backup, but that doesn’t mean either party wants to keep that setup.
What better backup option could you have than a veteran who has already been a starter in your system? That’s what the Steelers had in Sean Davis last year, who has started at both strong and free safety. While he wasn’t asked to play much, they obviously found comfort in his being there.
Given that he has very little tape in two years, and the fact that he was cut last year after losing a starting job, it’s hard to envision him having a robust market. If he is available to be retained for a minimum salary, then it makes too much sense to keep this relationship going, as he is also valuable on special teams.
Davis, I’m sure, has not suddenly stopped wanting to be a starter. He’ll be looking for any opportunity that presents itself on the open market, and no doubt he’ll be more interested in the prospect than the contract. If he can revitalize himself as a starter, that would be more valuable down the line than taking whatever the biggest offer might be.
From the Steelers’ perspective, they had already moved on, and it simply made sense to temporarily reunite last year. They have a young safety in Antoine Brooks that they would like to see develop, and there are some cornerbacks that they pretty much view as part of the safety depth, if they can re-sign Mike Hilton, for example.