Stop me if you’ve heard it before.
The Steelers go into free action against the salary cap and suffer some losses that make fans’ teeth chatter.
So, in the next few days or weeks, they fill the points to the point where if they were to line up and play a game right before the draw, they could do so with NFL-level players.
Such was it this year. Except this year, they filled seats in a 24-hour period, taking advantage of the second wave of free will after all the foolish money was spent.
And because of the moves, they will enter the draft without obvious need – as usual.
Thursday night they signed an internal offensive linesman Stefen Wisniewski, in sostitution B.J. Finney. Friday morning, they signed security again Jordan Dangerfield, keeping the status quo in that position. So they added the narrow end Eric Hebron in free agency and mistaken for defensive linesman Chris Wormley instead of Nick Vannett is Javon Hargrave. Everything that came after the team agreed to end Wednesday with the full back Derek Watt to replace both Tyler Matakevich as an ace of special teams e Roosevelt Nix, who lost much of the 2019 season with a knee injury.
Now, we can discuss whether the Steelers are a better team with these moves than the one that ended the 2019 season, but there are a few caveats, not the least of which is Ben RoethlisbergerHealth.
The Steelers loved Finney. He has been a valued team member for the past four years. And they took a step to keep it. But they wouldn’t go to $ 4 million a year with him, not when they couldn’t guarantee him a starting point.
In Wisniewski, they get a player who is not only more experienced than Finney – albeit slightly older – but one who has started two of the past three Super Bowls. Nothing against Finney, but he couldn’t offer it.
Hebron offers an update on what the Steelers did closely last season when they opened the season with Xavier Grimble backup Vance McDonald before making an exchange for Vannett. Without Roethlisberger, the opponents charged the defenders in the middle of the field and the narrow tips were almost non-existent in the pass.
This will not be the case with the addition of Hebron. He has problems with drops, but he is a player that must be considered. It can certainly challenge the seam and could help open things up JuJu Smith-Schuster. OR Dionate Johnson. OR James Washington. Or even McDonald.
There is some risk. Like McDonald, Hebron comes to the Steelers with a reputation for leaving some easy steps, although this hasn’t been exactly a problem for McDonald since he got here.
The other problem for Hebron, just like McDonald’s, is health. But this seems to be the case with all tight ends. Due to the rigors of the position, they are beaten more than other points. And although Hebron played all 16 games in 2017 and 2018, he lost games in each of his other four NFL seasons, including five in 2019 with an ankle injury that required surgery.
In the worst case scenario, the Steelers will have a tight initial level final available for each game in 2020. In the best case scenario, they will have two tight endings that will challenge their opponent’s defenses.
Finally, the addition of Wormley gives the team a much better depth on the defensive line, at least in the end. While Hargrave played 62.7% of defensive shots in 2019 – a career high – he only played 43.6% in 2018 – a career minimum.
The idea for the Steelers is not to play 3-4. In fact, the idea is to be alone in that aspect about 25 percent of the time. Tyson Alualu can certainly handle those shots.
But someone was needed to manage the shots that Alualu would have backed up Cam Heyward is Stephon Tuitt. Wormley gives them a player who can do it. What if Isaiah Buggs, a choice from the sixth round of 2019 continues to improve, it could also be in that mix.
The Steelers have only six choices in this year’s draft. And the first doesn’t go up to 49th place overall. Then they wouldn’t have been able to fill all those holes. In fact, given the talent available in this draft at the end and an internal offensive lineman, there wasn’t a player who would have been available to them who was better than Hebron or Wisniewski – at least not in 2020.
And for a team that imagines themselves a Super Bowl contender, the 2020 product is all that matters.
These moves will not prevent the Steelers from hiring a player in any of the indicated positions. But the Steelers won’t have to. They can really focus on taking the best player available, even if an external linebacker, who runs back or an offensive tackle to rule for the future would certainly be nice.
Now everything is on the table with these latest moves.
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