Do you remember those books when you were a kid? You know the ones where you got to decide what to do next and the book’s story would change based on your decision? Example: go to page 33 if you want to enter the cave, or go to page 55 if you want to go home. You had many paths to choose from as does the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers. This may be the most critical Steelers off-season in our lifetime, the Steelers need a quarterback, they need an offensive lineman, a linebacker, secondary help, possibly a wide receiver, a GM……and it goes on and on and on. What is unique about this offseason is that the Steelers have at least 45 million, and as much as 60 million to spend on free agency. We all know the Steelers way is not to shell out big money right away to free agents, but then again when have the Steelers been under the cap by so much? Ben Roethlisberger retired after a great 18-year career as the leader and quarterback of the Steelers. You will hear many, many rumors about what is happening next. Here is a quick list of names I have heard associated at one time or another to the Steelers:
The Steelers will not get Rodgers or Wilson. Why blow all that free agency money on one guy? The Steelers should not trade for a veteran quarterback either. Why trade draft picks when quarterback is just one of many,many needs? Everybody has their own path they want to see the Steelers take, and I am no different. Below is my path, not all will agree but hey I am writing the narrative.
-Quarterback- The Steelers should give a chance and see what they have in Mason Rudolph and especially Dwayne Haskins. Haskins ceiling could be very high, but the % of that happening is very slim. If you don’t feel comfortable with those two, sign a veteran like Marcus Mariota who will not cost you a ton of money. I am a firm believer that the Steelers at best are only the third best team in their division and I would say closer to 4th than 3rd.
-Free Agency- The Steelers have the money to make a splash, or they have the money to sign 4-5 guys to patch some of these holes. Some names out there the Steelers could sign are T-Terron Armstead of New Orleans, CB-J.C. Jackson, S-Marcus Williams-New Orleans,T-Orlando Brown, Jr.-Kansas City, C-Ryan Jensen-Tampa Bay,and a guy like S-Tyrann Mathieu-Kansas City (Ok, I admit I really want the Honey Badger, but with Fitzpatrick’s contract there is no way to justify spending that much at safety)
Draft- Here is where I am adamant about who I want the Steelers to pick. It is not a glamorous position player so I am going to probably lose 90% of you, but hear me out. The Steelers should select C-Tyler Linderbaum out of Iowa. Linderbaum is one of the top centers to come out in recent memory, and he would allow last year’s third-round pick Kendrick Green to go back to his comfort position of guard. So you would kill two birds(positions) with one pick (stone?) If you can pull off this pick to go along with a big-time tackle in free agency (Armstead), the o-line will all of a sudden become a strength. You can use a second round pick on a corner, linebacker, receiver whatever you decide not to sign in free agency.
This is my path for the Steelers, right or wrong this is what I want them to do. This is not the year to draft a QB, and it is not the time to spend 30 million a year on a veteran QB. Remember having a down year will not be the worst thing ever with the QB class that is coming out in 2023, and that offensive line I just built in this article. Let’s hope the Steelers pick the right path and stay away from that cave.