The Steelers will have some decisions to make at the NFL trade deadline, but which decision is the best for the team?
To say that the Steelers will have some decisions to make at the NFL trade deadline is an understatement. I believe that as the team is currently constructed, we can get into the playoffs, but we probably won’t win a seventh Lombardi Trophy when it’s all said and done.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly hope that we can become a team that other teams don’t want to face in the playoffs, but, again, I just don’t see that happening as we sit here today. What I do see happening is this: We use the bye week to correct whatever deficiencies exist, then see how the game against the Cleveland Browns shakes out.
I think the outcome of the Browns game may determine what the Steelers decide to do. The way I see it, we have four decisions to make. First, do we make a trade or two at the deadline to acquire a player or players? Second, do we trade away a player or players? Third, do we do both of the aforementioned? Finally, do the Steelers do nothing and stand pat at the trade deadline?
The Steelers may be in a ‘catch 22’ at the trade deadline
So here’s what I mean when I say the Steelers may be in a ‘catch 22’ at the trade deadline: Given the lack of draft capital at our disposal in the upcoming 2022 draft after having traded our 2022 fourth-round pick to the Dolphins to move up to select Isaiahh Loudermilk and after having traded our fifth-round pick to the Jets to acquire Avery Williamson, we really have nothing left to trade.
If we want to be buyers, we may be forced to trade a player for a player; however, in that scenario, it may be tantamount to ‘addition by subtraction’ and I’m not really sure that’s what the Steelers want or are willing to do. Not to mention the fact that we don’t want to trade for a player who may be just a one-year ‘rental’, ala Williamson.
If the Steelers believe the best course of action is to sell at the deadline, the question becomes who do we trade? If we trade a starter and receive a draft pick or draft picks as compensation, who then becomes the starter? It’s not like we have a plethora of starting-caliber players waiting in the wings.
If the Steelers decide to be both buyers and sellers, that would be as interesting as it would be atypical. The Steelers have not generally both traded for a player and traded an existing player in the same season. Again, if that scenario occurs, who do we trade, who do we trade for and what do we use as collateral? I suppose we could trade 2023 draft picks; however, that would represent mortgaging the future for the present.
Of course, the Steelers could decide to do nothing at the trade deadline, thus finishing the 2021 campaign with the players we currently have. Personally, I think that is what we are ultimately going to do, although I think it’s fair to say that we have holes on the roster that need to be filled.
We could try to fill those holes via the free-agent route, but the reality is this: Most free agents who are on the market are on the market for a reason. That does not mean that the Steelers could not get a quality free agent who may be able to become a positive contributor to our efforts, but I don’t know how realistic that may be.
I think the Steelers will be neither buyers nor sellers nor will we find that free agency ‘gem’. The 2021 season will ‘rise and fall’ on the players we currently have on the roster. I just hope we are good enough to make a run in the playoffs, assuming we get there.
This post was originally published on here