There are probably a thousand different ways that we could construct the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason and how we each individually would go about it. In our minds, if the Steelers do what we say, everything will go perfectly and the Steelers will go undefeated and roll right to the Super Bowl. Here’s my take on constructing a perfect offseason for the Steelers in order to hoist yet another Lombardi Trophy.
It’s sounding to me that the Steelers may be a little more active in free agency this year. Maybe even spend a little money on someone who hasn’t played with them before or older than 30. Recently, there was a report stating that Louis Delmas visited the Steelers. This was no shock to me whatsoever, realizing the desperate need for a safety who is experienced, young, and can be a stud for years to come. Ryan Clark is all but gone, and realistically, Troy Polamalu is more than likely entering his final year in the black and yellow. Instead of spending a mid round draft pick who could fall flat on his face and leave the Steelers with no help at free safety, they bring in someone to pair perfectly with Shamarko Thomas for years to come. In my recent posts about the draft, I had the Steelers picking a safety in the middle rounds, hoping he could develop into a starter after one season, but after reading that Delmas visited the Steelers, I am all in in signing him. It will take a little money that the Steelers currently don’t have, but we will get to that. That would be the only big outside free agent signing by the Steelers that I would could see taking place.
Now to the rest of free agency, I recently posted an article about which of our own the Steelers should bring back to town, and you can read that by going here. The big ones I have coming back are Jason Worilds, Ziggy Hood and Jerricho Cotchery.
Remember the not having any money comment above, now is when we get that money. We have experienced this for the past couple years, cutting the veterans that have helped us win two Super Bowls and will forever be in the hearts of Pittsburgh Steelers fans. There is a movement in Steelers camp, and it’s out with the old and in with the new. To the veterans that will leave via free agency: Ryan Clark and Brett Keisel will not be returning considering I have both Louis Delmas and Ziggy Hood being signed by the Steelers. The roster cuts I am predicting will be Ike Taylor, Lamarr Woodley, and Larry Foote. In Ike Taylor’s case, he was horrendous at times last year, and in order for some money to play with in free agency, Taylor needs to be gone. Lamarr Woodley, your contract is going to Jason Worilds and to other various needs. No matter the money it will cost to cut you, you’re in your thirties and can’t stay on the field. In Larry Foote’s case, there is nothing he really did, rather it’s the younger players stepping up. There are currently three young inside linebackers who all show potential – Vince Williams, Terrance Garvin, and Sean Spence. Cutting the older vets will definitely show that the Steelers are serious about getting back to the postseason and being a contender next year and for years to come.
Now to the future. The Steelers have several players they need to extend now before they breakout and won’t be able to afford them later. Now is the absolute perfect time to extend young players like Cortez Allen and Cameron Heyward. The two are on the verge of becoming studs in the NFL, yet they will come cheaper now because they didn’t completely breakout last season. If the Steelers wait a year for these players, they are jeopardizing being able to retain them because of monster seasons they could have and not enough money to keep them away from other teams. Extend them now so when they do become superstars, you already have them under contract.
Another interesting young player that should be extended is Maurkice Pouncey. There is speculation that he will not be extended and will test the free agent market following the 2014 season. That would be a huge mistake by the Steelers! We all know how much the Steelers value centers, and Pouncey is one of the best in the game, and it’s possible he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. Imagine the damage he can do playing alongside David DeCastro (which we have yet to see). Those are two players who could potentially become All-Pros. Why draft someone in the first round if you don’t intend to keep them. I think Pouncey is in the plans for the future, and he will be a fixture on the O-line, becoming the next great Steelers center.
To the older veterans getting extended, I think the only candidates are Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller. Whether he gets extended this year or next, I am willing to bet Roethlisberger retires a Steeler. That is one thing I wouldn’t worry about as a Steeler. This is where he wants to be and the Steelers want him to retire in Pittsburgh, that’s for sure. Heath Miller should get an extension in order to relieve a little cap space and that he is still a valuable part in the Steelers offense.
If you have read my recent posts, you will know I am all in for the Steelers taking a cornerback in the first round, preferably Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State. Looking back at the last two draft picks by the Steelers, players can and will slide in the draft for whatever reason. Honestly, who knows why David DeCastro slid, but we are ecstatic to have him. Jarvis Jones slid because of a poor pro day showing and because of his spinal cord. Here is hoping that a couple players slide in the draft.
The Steelers have made it clear this offseason their intent to draft a taller wide receiver in the draft. Kelvin Benjamin would be a steal in the second round and could immediately make an impact. He could also give the Steelers another dangerous weapon, combining his height with Antonio Brown’s speed and quickness leaving opposing defenders guessing where the ball is going. In the third round, I’m hoping Austin Seferian-Jenkins completely embarrasses in the combine, causing his draft stock to plummet all the way down to the Steelers complimentary pick. Picking him up in the third round would be an even bigger steal than Benjamin in the second. I realize that both of these picks are pushing the limits on mock drafts, but crazier things have happened. These two would instantly upgrade an already potentially dangerous offense. If the Steelers don’t sign Louis Delmas, Tre Boston could be available in the fourth round to possibly replace Ryan Clark at the free safety spot. The fifth pick could go to a speedster running back, DeAnthony Thomas. He could bring speed to the running back spot which is currently lacking, and could also be a dangerous special teams player. He would be what the Steelers envisioned Chris Rainey being. The rest of the picks could be best player available.
There’s the blueprint to a perfect offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If they do these things, expect a push for the Super Bowl. Please feel free to comment and give me your input on constructing the offseason for the Steelers.
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