I have been beating the “upgrade the tackle positions” drum for a very long time. I just assumed that the Pittsburgh Steelers would parlay their top five draft pick next May into acquiring a franchise left tackle.
Unfortunately “Steeler Nation” and Ben Roethlisberger, the front office got desperate and reportedly traded one or two low draft picks to the Arizona Cardinals for tackle Levi Brown according to Pro Football Talk.
This trade is obviously an attempt to bring some stability to the left tackle position, and Brown does have a great deal of professional experience under his belt.
After he spent his first three professional seasons on the right side (2007-2009), the former Penn State Nittany Lion started 32 straight games at left tackle in the following two (2010-2011). Brown however suffered a triceps injury and missed the entirety of the 2012 campaign before he started the first four games of this current season for Arizona.
At least to me, I am befuddled by the move. Moreover, it is one which reeks of total desperation on Pittsburgh’s part.
I understand that Brown is only 29 years old right now, but the fact that he is due base salaries of $6 million next year, $5 million in 2015, and $5 million in 2016 has to weigh heavily on the minds of Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan.
In addition to his heftier price tag, Brown has also had his fair share of issues when it has come to pass-blocking in recent seasons. Thus I am definitely skeptical regarding how much of an upgrade he will actually be at the left tackle position.
What makes me want to hurl is the fact that a younger and more talented tackle, Eugene Monroe, was actually on the trading block. Sadly, Baltimore acquired Monroe last night, and the Steelers apparently did not want to make a play for the familiar and currently cheap Max Starks.
Instead, Pittsburgh’s brass reportedly traded draft picks to acquire a player of Brown’s caliber to protect the blind-side of their franchise quarterback.
Call me a “Negative Nancy” all you want, readers. Yet I fail to see the value of trading away draft picks for Brown, especially when the team giving them up is a rebuilding franchise like the Steelers.
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