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: David DeCastro will play for another team this season.
Explanation: The Steelers released DeCastro a couple weeks ago with a Non-Football Injury designation. He is set to have surgery on his ankle, which an MRI revealed as necessary if he wishes to continue to play. He has not yet decided if he will do that. The surgery will take months to recover from, but there would certainly be a market for his services if he is willing and able to play this year.
There is no question about marketability. If he is available, DeCastro will field offers to play. He is more talented and more accomplished than Trai Turner, and he just landed a $3 million contract despite the fact that he is coming off of a bad year with injuries.
By all appearances, it certainly seemed like DeCastro had every intention of playing this year. While he would be getting the surgery just for his own health even if he didn’t intend to continue playing, I have no doubt that he doesn’t want to end his career in the manner it would if he hangs it up now.
There is something to be said for a closed circle, which is what DeCastro’s career would be, all with the Steelers, all under Mike Tomlin, all with Maurkice Pouncey, and mostly with the likes of Ramon Foster, Alejandro Villanueva, and Marcus Gilbert, if he calls it a day.
Moving to a new team toward the end of your career and underdoing the whole introductory process is a chore, and DeCastro has also made it clear that he’s content with where things are and what he’s accomplished.
I can’t even say whether or not he actually wants to play with another team. That’s probably not even something he’ll be thinking about for months. It would probably take a Super Bowl-caliber team suffering an injury that forces them to pay above-market for his services in order for him to come back, because barring adverse circumstances, he’s probably not going to get more than about $3 million, and I don’t think he would bother playing for that, certainly not for just any team. Winning a ring is the only thing he lacks.