The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answered, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: Would the Steelers trade up for cornerback Christian Gonzalez, and what would it cost?
It’s not uncommon for teams to bring in players for pre-draft visits who may be expected to be drafted earlier than their top selection. Sometimes those players end up sliding. Sometimes a team is thinking about trading up to get a guy.
This year, cornerback Christian Gonzalez is one of those players expected to be drafted by the time the Steelers are scheduled to pick at 17, and they’ve brought him in for a pre-draft visit. But other players in the past have fallen to them when they were expected to be drafted earlier. And perhaps they brought him in to see if he would be worth the cost of trading up.
Here is one thing to consider: when the Steelers do get ‘extra’ resources, in the past they’ve tended not to be afraid to use them. For example, when they knew they were getting an extra third-round draft pick back for the Antonio Brown trade, it encouraged them to move up in the first round to get Devin Bush.
The success or failure of that previous move notwithstanding, it is possible, I suppose, that Pittsburgh would strongly consider moving up to get Gonzalez. If they feel that he is that much better than the next cornerbacks behind him such as Joey Porter Jr., and they are committed to replenishing the secondary for the long term, it might not be a bad move to make.
This is the first draft that will be run by Omar Khan as general manager, and the first that will involve Andy Weidl at all, who is tasked with setting the draft board. As is always the case, it will come down to how strongly they feel about him relative to the other options, and what it would cost to make the move.