The Steve Breaston Sweepstakes (enter chuckle here) have officially moved to Pittsburgh. The PPG reported that Steve Breaston is meeting with the Steelers on Thursday.
Breaston was just in Cleveland chatting it up with the Browns – a move that is more than likely just a bargaining chip for him to maximize his cash flow when he signs with either team. Many in Steeler Nation, including some of us here at NPC, feel that seeing Stevie in a black & gold jersey would be a big mistake when the team has much larger needs at defense and little need for another slot receiver.
There is a good argument that Breaston would fit very well in Todd Haley’s Dunk’O'Matic offense. He did play for Haley in Arizona and in Kansas City after all. And, in my opinion, that’s a dangerous association. Bringing someone in like Breaston to this offense says nothing about Haley’s pulling power of a player in free agency. Breaston is coming off his poorest season to date, no thanks to Romeo Crennell. It’s unclear why Breaston was benched for so long in 2012, but it doesn’t help his stock as a well sought after player – he is talking to Cleveland you know.
Breaston even visiting Pittsburgh exemplifies the bull headedness of Haley. There’s something about Breaston that Haley really likes, and probably wants him on this team in a bad way. But, Breaston is not the answer to the woes of a fractured offensive locker room. Would Breaston act as a leader for the Young Money Crew Minus One? Or is the hope that he just becomes more productive than Jerricho Cotchery has been the last two seasons? Stevie is more than likely to try and get at least $2 million for a year or two – too expensive for my tastes at this time in the state of the franchise. The team could easily find a solid receiver in the draft – no one explosive quite like Mike Wallace’s potential, but someone young and fast that could compliment Antonio Brown’s ascension to the #1 roster spot.
There’s no free agent receiver out there that the Steelers have the buying power for. And there’s not sense in wasting the cash on landing someone. $12-20 million over the 2013 salary cap is quite an obstacle to overcome, even with Lawrence Timmons, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger already compensating for some of that by restructuring contracts. If Breaston signs a deal with the Steelers, I think he’ll end up the way former KC Chiefs Leonard Pope did last season – high hopes to fit right in with Haley and then becoming highly unproductive and worthless.