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2021 Pittsburgh Steelers - Getting ready for Vikings on a short week


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13 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

Is that the right move for the Steelers, though? They have so many glaring holes, especially at O Line and running back, is signing JJ a luxury they can afford? I am sure he would take a little discount to play with his brothers, but if it’s a championship he is after, Pittsburgh is not the place.

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23 minutes ago, Balco said:

Is that the right move for the Steelers, though? They have so many glaring holes, especially at O Line and running back, is signing JJ a luxury they can afford? I am sure he would take a little discount to play with his brothers, but if it’s a championship he is after, Pittsburgh is not the place.

Yeah, if he signs with us, it'll have to be at a discount, otherwise the team just can't afford it. So he either signs to join his Brothers (Bash Bros?), or he signs elsewhere to chase a ring. I think it's more likely he goes to GB, KC, or TB. 

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I would not discount the opportunity to play with his brothers. They seem extremely tight. 
 

If he wants good shot at ring next two years while playing in the state he played college ball, I think Green Bay is the place, and it’s actually a solid fit, Green Bay needs an end like Watt.

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6 hours ago, Balco said:

Is that the right move for the Steelers, though? They have so many glaring holes, especially at O Line and running back, is signing JJ a luxury they can afford? I am sure he would take a little discount to play with his brothers, but if it’s a championship he is after, Pittsburgh is not the place.

If JJ will play for the vet minimum, sure. 

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On 2/13/2021 at 1:22 AM, MAC_32 said:

If JJ will play for the vet minimum, sure. 

I think he would consider this if the Steelers were a top contender. But they are not so he will probably go to Green Bay or something similar. 

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You guys are chicken littles every offseason. Been hearing it for almost 20 years now: ‚ÄúThe cap. SQUAK. THE CAP!‚ÄĚ

Seriously? When has that ever stopped the Steelers, or any other team for that matter, from doing whatever they want? If JJ wants to be a Steeler and the Steelers want him it will happen and we’ll have a better team for it.

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7 hours ago, Iceman03 said:

You guys are chicken littles every offseason. Been hearing it for almost 20 years now: ‚ÄúThe cap. SQUAK. THE CAP!‚ÄĚ

Seriously? When has that ever stopped the Steelers, or any other team for that matter, from doing whatever they want? If JJ wants to be a Steeler and the Steelers want him it will happen and we’ll have a better team for it.

That is why i didn‚Äôt say the cap/salary was an issue but JJ‚Äės wish to compete for the title.

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1 hour ago, Acrobat7 said:

That is why i didn‚Äôt say the cap/salary was an issue but JJ‚Äės wish to compete for the title.

If Ben lowers his salary, they can keep everyone, get JJ, and add through the draft. Remember, this team was 11-0. With that D, they will compete for a title. 

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2 hours ago, Black and Gold said:

If Ben lowers his salary, they can keep everyone, get JJ, and add through the draft. Remember, this team was 11-0. With that D, they will compete for a title. 

If Ben lowers his salary they still won’t compete for the title. Even without the free agents they have there are a ton of holes on the roster including what could be one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Their window is over.

get the cap in order the next two years , get the young core defenders signed long term and start anew.

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Not sure where some get their cap numbers from, but even if you use Spotrac's estimate of a 189+ mil cap, Steelers are still 15.5 over, and that's updated with Vance and Pouncey out. Ben is owed over 22 mil no matter what, as that was a prorated bonus from previous contracts, and cannot be pushed. So, you're playing with his 19 mil left on his salary. Absolutely any amount you push to 2022 and beyond, will restrict them from signing others in the future, and that would be a bad business move, especially when Minkah and TJ will be due big paydays next year if you want to keep them. 

So where do you see Dupree and/or JuJu coming back? Villanueva is gone as well, so where's money for JJ? They need to scrape so they can find room to bring back at least Feiler, Hilton, Alualu, Banner, and Sutton. Then whoever else walks from the extensive UFA list, they will need to find money to give to any replacements they find. Cut Ben, and start the basics of rebuilding an absent running game with MR or DH running the show. Draft your new top linemen and RB, then work on finding a future QB this year or next, while trying to keep your core D intact with the money you saved for the future.

 

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4 hours ago, crushedspirit said:

Not sure where some get their cap numbers from, but even if you use Spotrac's estimate of a 189+ mil cap, Steelers are still 15.5 over, and that's updated with Vance and Pouncey out. Ben is owed over 22 mil no matter what, as that was a prorated bonus from previous contracts, and cannot be pushed. So, you're playing with his 19 mil left on his salary. Absolutely any amount you push to 2022 and beyond, will restrict them from signing others in the future, and that would be a bad business move, especially when Minkah and TJ will be due big paydays next year if you want to keep them. 

So where do you see Dupree and/or JuJu coming back? Villanueva is gone as well, so where's money for JJ? They need to scrape so they can find room to bring back at least Feiler, Hilton, Alualu, Banner, and Sutton. Then whoever else walks from the extensive UFA list, they will need to find money to give to any replacements they find. Cut Ben, and start the basics of rebuilding an absent running game with MR or DH running the show. Draft your new top linemen and RB, then work on finding a future QB this year or next, while trying to keep your core D intact with the money you saved for the future.

 

I've learned that you never try to understand the cap. Ben can stretch that 19 million over several years and others can. If they are going to try one more shot with Ben, you'll be surprised what sort of team they have next year. Losing Bush and then Dupree turned that D from "great" to "very good". Do they need JJ? No, but he may come at a discount. They were firing on all cylinders for 10 games. For one reason or another, they quit throwing the ball downfield half way through the season. That is what clogged everything up. They were running the ball effectively for 6 or 7 games this season. And if the Broncos can win with a broken down Manning (who looked much worse than Ben does), then so can the Steelers.

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The cap is simple to follow, just use Spotrac and look at the multi-year breakdowns and learn simple processes like how signing bonuses are spread across multiple years, but base salary is a year by year basis. 

Every year Steelers fans bemoan our cap situation because it means that we can't go after many free agents, purely because we can't afford them. We usually sign 1-2 middle tier free agents, but we have to stretch our dollars far and we can't always resign our home-grown talent. Such as Dupree and Juju this year. 

One way that this year is somewhat different from previous years is that we have many players at the end of their contracts. Previously, we would restructure players like Pouncey and Heyward to make space by kicking money down the road. This year, we'd have to extend players in order to push their money into the future. The reason some of us push back on that idea is because we're not sure how many good years they have left, and we'd rather save the money to completely retool the team, as opposed to try and spend money keeping the team together for 1 more run (that we don't think will end in a Super Bowl). 

Players on final year of their deals and this year's hit:

  • Big Ben - $41,250,000
  • Mason Rudolph - $1,247,867
  • James Washington - $1,432,248
  • Eric Ebron - $8,500,000
  • David DeCastro - $14,297,500
  • Chuks Okorafor - $1,123,091
  • TJ Watt - $10,089,000
  • Vince Williams - $7,031,668
  • Joe Haden - $15,575,000
  • Steven Nelson - $14,420,000
  • Edmunds and Minkah in final year with 5th year option

If we extend Big Ben, it's most likely a Drew Brees-like deal, with voidable years just to spread the cap into future years. DeCastro and Haden are still playing at a high level, but for how much longer? Is it worth it to resign them if we're going into rebuild mode after Ben leaves? (I'm honestly not sure) Ebron is listed by many as a potential cut candidate because of the cap savings, do we want to extend him, and if so, at what cost? Vince Williams is just ok, do we want to extend him or would it be better to draft his replacement this year? Steven Nelson wasn't great last year, he was often out of position and gave up easy first downs. Do we want to extend him at a high price or draft/sign a replacement?

I think that the most likely scenario is: Sign TJ and Minkah long term and reduce TJ's cap hit in 2021. Ben retires or is signed to a 2 year extension reducing cap hit in 2021. DeCastro, Nelson, and/or Haden are extended, traded, or cut (I think 2 of the 3 have their cap hit reduced somehow). I wouldn't be surprised if Ebron or Vince Williams is extended and have their cap hit reduced, if I had to guess I'd say Ebron because the TE class isn't as strong as the ILB class, and Vince's replacement is drafted. 

If Ben retires, I don't expect the Steelers to make a run at a Vet QB, I think it's more likely they draft someone and roll with Mason this year, hoping that the rookie develops enough by 2022 to start then. Also, I think the odds of Ben retiring went up from 5% to 20% now that Pouncey retired. I honestly think that Ben was going to come back to try and get Pouncey a ring. 

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4 hours ago, Black and Gold said:

I've learned that you never try to understand the cap. Ben can stretch that 19 million over several years and others can. If they are going to try one more shot with Ben, you'll be surprised what sort of team they have next year. Losing Bush and then Dupree turned that D from "great" to "very good". Do they need JJ? No, but he may come at a discount. They were firing on all cylinders for 10 games. For one reason or another, they quit throwing the ball downfield half way through the season. That is what clogged everything up. They were running the ball effectively for 6 or 7 games this season. And if the Broncos can win with a broken down Manning (who looked much worse than Ben does), then so can the Steelers.

Dupree and JuJu's market prices are well over 15 mil due to others with similar production. They're both gone, as the team needs to scrape to sign those others I listed before. And again, pushing Ben's 19 mil is bad business, plain and simple. Ben was rarely efficient downfield last year. His main success came from PI's against underthrown balls to Claypool. He was amongst the worst for yards per attempt because he is now immobile, the line cannot protect him, and his arm is done. The offense you saw last season cannot change much with the same guy taking snaps. Team needs to establish a consistent run game, and instill much more play action into it's playbook. Ben is not the guy for that anymore for reasons listed above.

Yes, Manning won a SB riding his D, while looking bad. How many times have you seen that with a 39 yr old washed up QB? This post season we saw both Rivers and Brees realize it's time to go, and who both had running games and a D to lean on. Ben threw 4 picks against the Browns in a home playoff game, so how much more of that can anyone stomach? The best is well past him, so it's time to go.

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20 minutes ago, crushedspirit said:

Dupree and JuJu's market prices are well over 15 mil due to others with similar production. They're both gone, as the team needs to scrape to sign those others I listed before. And again, pushing Ben's 19 mil is bad business, plain and simple. Ben was rarely efficient downfield last year. His main success came from PI's against underthrown balls to Claypool. He was amongst the worst for yards per attempt because he is now immobile, the line cannot protect him, and his arm is done. The offense you saw last season cannot change much with the same guy taking snaps. Team needs to establish a consistent run game, and instill much more play action into it's playbook. Ben is not the guy for that anymore for reasons listed above.

Yes, Manning won a SB riding his D, while looking bad. How many times have you seen that with a 39 yr old washed up QB? This post season we saw both Rivers and Brees realize it's time to go, and who both had running games and a D to lean on. Ben threw 4 picks against the Browns in a home playoff game, so how much more of that can anyone stomach? The best is well past him, so it's time to go.

I'm not sure that I agree that Ben is washed up entirely.   The reason his yards per attempt was down was due largely to using the short passing game in place of the run.  The non-existent running game was by far the biggest problem for the offense and I blame that on the offensive line and running backs although the coaching gets blame as well.  Ben was also plagued with an incredible number of drops.

Ben did throw 4 picks against the Browns and there is no sugar coating that: it was a bad day for sure.  On the other hand he also threw for 500 yards and 4 TDs.   Given a decent running game and if they keep the defense intact they could compete next season (although the schedule is brutal).

I do agree with you that financially the best thing for the team would be for Ben to retire.  Let Rudolph and whoever settles in as backup take the team as far as they can in 2021.  If we manage to have a decent season then great.  If we suck then use the high draft position in 2022 to rebuild.

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14 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

I'm not sure that I agree that Ben is washed up entirely.   The reason his yards per attempt was down was due largely to using the short passing game in place of the run.  The non-existent running game was by far the biggest problem for the offense and I blame that on the offensive line and running backs although the coaching gets blame as well.  Ben was also plagued with an incredible number of drops.

Ben did throw 4 picks against the Browns and there is no sugar coating that: it was a bad day for sure.  On the other hand he also threw for 500 yards and 4 TDs.   Given a decent running game and if they keep the defense intact they could compete next season (although the schedule is brutal).

I do agree with you that financially the best thing for the team would be for Ben to retire.  Let Rudolph and whoever settles in as backup take the team as far as they can in 2021.  If we manage to have a decent season then great.  If we suck then use the high draft position in 2022 to rebuild.

You just don't want to waste years of Watt and Fitz on D.  

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23 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

You just don't want to waste years of Watt and Fitz on D.  

True, but they'll still be dominant in 2-4 years (at least in my opinion), so isn't it more of a waste if the Steelers don't think Ben can win a Super Bowl but trot him out anyways, instead of pulling the trigger on a possible replacement? I think the Steelers try for another attempt, but between the tough schedule and Ben being 1 year older, I think our chances at a Super Bowl win are probably less than 2%. I do think Ben gives us the best shot to win this year, but that keeping him significantly reduces our chances over the next 4+ years. 

Also, I know it changes from year to year, but so many teams need QBs and will need QBs in the near future, and the classes of 2022 and 2023 are allegedly not as good as this year. 

I don't think that the Steelers go QB with their 1st, thereby missing out on the top talent, and I think we may come to regret that several years from now. 

 

I completely forgot that they signed Dwayne Haskins. Who knows, maybe he's the answer to all our problems, but honestly, I really doubt it. 

Edited by steelers1080
Dwayne
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21 minutes ago, steelers1080 said:

True, but they'll still be dominant in 2-4 years (at least in my opinion), so isn't it more of a waste if the Steelers don't think Ben can win a Super Bowl but trot him out anyways, instead of pulling the trigger on a possible replacement? I think the Steelers try for another attempt, but between the tough schedule and Ben being 1 year older, I think our chances at a Super Bowl win are probably less than 2%. I do think Ben gives us the best shot to win this year, but that keeping him significantly reduces our chances over the next 4+ years. 

Also, I know it changes from year to year, but so many teams need QBs and will need QBs in the near future, and the classes of 2022 and 2023 are allegedly not as good as this year. 

I don't think that the Steelers go QB with their 1st, thereby missing out on the top talent, and I think we may come to regret that several years from now. 

 

I completely forgot that they signed Dwayne Haskins. Who knows, maybe he's the answer to all our problems, but honestly, I really doubt it. 

I think Haskins is a decent flyer opportunity. 

Ben was out all of last year and playing on a repaired throwing elbow.  I think he hit a bit of a wall towards the end of the season which was magnified by injuries on the O-line and defense (creating bad situations), along with DROPS, the lack of a running game, and some poor play-calling.  Not to mention playing 3 games in 12 days and getting screwed out of a real bye week,

 

Now if the Steelers are unable to put together an o-line and run game and keep skilled players due to the cap, then they should convince Ben to retire.  But if they can make things work, then they should bring him back and try to win now.  That was the best Steelers defense since the 90s at the beginning of the season, and Ben was CLICKING with his receivers.  The end of the year leaves a bad taste, but I think the team was much better than that.

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2 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I think Haskins is a decent flyer opportunity. 

Ben was out all of last year and playing on a repaired throwing elbow.  I think he hit a bit of a wall towards the end of the season which was magnified by injuries on the O-line and defense (creating bad situations), along with DROPS, the lack of a running game, and some poor play-calling.  Not to mention playing 3 games in 12 days and getting screwed out of a real bye week,

Now if the Steelers are unable to put together an o-line and run game and keep skilled players due to the cap, then they should convince Ben to retire.  But if they can make things work, then they should bring him back and try to win now.  That was the best Steelers defense since the 90s at the beginning of the season, and Ben was CLICKING with his receivers.  The end of the year leaves a bad taste, but I think the team was much better than that.

I guess, what's your version of a best case scenario? Something like this?

  • Extend Ben 2 years, push money out.
  • Extend Decastro 2 years, push money out.¬†
  • Resign Banner (fully healthy) and start Banner and Chuks at Tackle, Dotson and DeCastro at Guard, and FA/Rook at Center.¬†
  • Draft LB in 1st who can play OLB/ILB hybrid and improve both positions, giving Highsmith and Spillane/Vince runs for their money at starter.¬†
  • Resign Alualu to shore up NT spot.¬†
  • Draft WR in 4th who helps immediately at Slot.¬†
  • Draft Center in 2nd who can start immediately.¬†
  • Draft Javonte or Kenny Gainwell in 3rd and they turn out to be a stud RB.¬†
  • Resign Sutton or Hilton, grab another CB in FA or Draft.¬†
  • Get a backup TE that can block, or hope Gentry works out.¬†
  • Hope beyond all hope that no one gets hurt because we have 0 depth lol

It could work. And if all the above did happen, and everyone stayed healthy, we would have a great team. But I think it would potentially suffer the same pitfalls next year as we did this year, any injuries could be catastrophic (Bush/Dupree), and Big Ben will probably get more tired as the season goes on. It might not be as bad with recovery one year out, hopefully a true bye week, and probably less passing (if we can fix run game). But even if we hit on all these picks, our margin for error is razor thin because we'll have almost 0 depth at DE, OLB, ILB, S, CB, TE, OL (all 5), WR, and RB (Snell is not the answer). 

It's possibly our best shot, but that upcoming schedule is brutal, and idk that it'll be enough even if everything goes perfect. 

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2 hours ago, Godsbrother said:

Kevin Colbert didn't sound like he is sold on the idea of Ben coming back for another season.   We should know in the next week or two...

The main takeaway I saw, from people trying to be objective about it, was just that until the cap situation is confirmed, they can't really make any decisions. The overwhelming consensus from people that regularly cover Pitt appears to be "He's coming back." Or at least that's what I'm seeing. So I'd assume that's the case until we hear otherwise. 

Also, I'm generally the most optimistic Steelers fan, I even predicted a 13-3 season last year before the season with Ben coming off major elbow surgery. But somehow the end to this season left me with such a sour feeling that it's made me pessimistic about 2021 (though not about the years following). Here's hoping that the Steelers are able to do enough during the Draft and Free Agency that come August, I'm back to the unreasonable expectation of competing for a Super Bowl. 

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37 minutes ago, menobrown said:

If the Steelers decide they'd rather try and force retirement on Ben what are opinions that he'd accept it? Do you think anyone else would want him and would he want to keep playing in another place? Like say Chicago?

 

My guess is that he would retire if the Steelers told him they were going to cut him.

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32 minutes ago, menobrown said:

If the Steelers decide they'd rather try and force retirement on Ben what are opinions that he'd accept it? Do you think anyone else would want him and would he want to keep playing in another place? Like say Chicago?

My guess is that he either plays for the Steelers, or he retires, like Polamalu. That said, if he thinks that he has 3+ years left, and the Steelers try to get him to retire, then he could sign with the Bears, WFT, Carolina, or Texans (if they trade Deshaun). I think none of this happens, but those teams are some of the most desperate for a solid QB. Also, I think it would take Ben at least 1 year to get up to speed on a new system, and thus the Bears are probably out because they have to win in 2021 or get fired.  

34 minutes ago, geneyus said:

I heard today it won't be lower than $180MM

Yeah, the floor has gone up by $5 million, that's great news. Hopefully that means that it's expected to go even higher. If the TV deals are humongous, people have said that they could pull future money into 2021 to keep it at $198 mil. 

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I think Ben wants to come back, but if the team is going to be significantly different (and HIS guys are gone) he may just hang them up.  With Pouncey already retired, I wonder if him staying hinges on whether there is enough cap space created through restructuring his deal to keep Juju and Villanueva? 

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15 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I think Ben wants to come back, but if the team is going to be significantly different (and HIS guys are gone) he may just hang them up.  With Pouncey already retired, I wonder if him staying hinges on whether there is enough cap space created through restructuring his deal to keep Juju and Villanueva? 

I am sure both of those guys are gone.   Any money saved with Ben restructuring/retiring and reworking contracts with DeCastro/Haden/Williams, etc. needs to go to re-signing Hilton and/or Sutton, and working out long term deals for Minkah and TJ.

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57 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

I am sure both of those guys are gone.   Any money saved with Ben restructuring/retiring and reworking contracts with DeCastro/Haden/Williams, etc. needs to go to re-signing Hilton and/or Sutton, and working out long term deals for Minkah and TJ.

I am just looking at it from Ben's perspective. I think he may only come back if they promise to use the cap savings based on his sacrifice to keep HIS guys.  He already lost Pouncey.  

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18 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I am just looking at it from Ben's perspective. I think he may only come back if they promise to use the cap savings based on his sacrifice to keep HIS guys.  He already lost Pouncey.  

I think the days of Ben calling the shots, if they ever existed, are long gone. 

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1 hour ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I am just looking at it from Ben's perspective. I think he may only come back if they promise to use the cap savings based on his sacrifice to keep HIS guys.  He already lost Pouncey.  

This could be why Rooney and Colbert are out there talking to the media about it. The implications from their comments seems to be, we'll see how this aligns with the team's plans/cap situation. Ben has some leverage, but only if the Steelers really want him to come back, and the outward comments have not illustrated that. If he makes Demands, he'll probably be let go. 

I'm still highly doubting that Ben is willing to give up money. He was most likely stating a willingness to restructure, which means that he won't miss out on any payments, they'll just be moved around, very different. 

For the Steelers, I doubt any big news happens on any front until the Cap for 2021 is finalized, and a potential roadmap is outlined for the next few years (based on the HUGE TV Deal upcoming). If the cap is going to be squashed for the next 2-3 years because of COVID/bad negotiating by the NFLPA, then I'd expect both TJ and Minkah's deals to be ridiculously backloaded. 

Here's hoping we can resign Sutton and Alualu and Banner (maybe Feiler at RT), and sign Minkah and TJ long term. Also, please don't 5th year option Edmunds. 

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On 1/21/2021 at 10:55 AM, steelers1080 said:

Way too early mock draft that won't come true because all of these players will move up. Used several big boards/mock drafts to try to not make any ridiculous reaches. Coming away with OT, C, RB, WR, CB with the first 5 picks would be an ideal scenario for me (if there's no QB the FO loves). 

  • 1. Alex Leatherwood - OT - Bama
  • 2. Landon Dickerson - C - Bama
  • 3. Kenneth Gainwell - RB - Memphis
  • 4. Elijah Moore - WR - Ole Miss (Slot)
  • 4. Shemar Jean-Charles - CB - Appalachian State

Updated Mock assuming no trades and trying to use semi-realistic landing spots, like no 1st round graded players in the 3rd, etc. This mock is based on several assumptions: resigning Banner and Feiler to start at Tackle spots and compete with Chuks; keeping Ben for at least 1 more year; resigning Sutton but releasing 1 of Haden/Nelson; Juju, Big Al, Dupree are gone; resign Alualu. What I think they could do, not 100% what I think they should do. 

  • 1. (24) Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa - His versatility and ability to play OLB & ILB make him a valuable player.¬†
  • 2. (55) Kyle Trask, QB, Florida - If Ben is back, most would expect this to be the final season. He might not like the Steelers taking a QB during his last hurrah, but Mason is not the answer, and there's no reason to think we'll be drafting in the top 10 in 2022. Some people think that Mason is somehow now better than 2019 when he was benched for Duck Hodges, idk why they think that. There has been rumored interest from the Steelers in Trask.
  • 3. (87) Quinn Meinerz, OC, UW-Whitewater - We need a Center and Meinerz has moved way up after his excellent performance at the senior bowl.¬†
  • 4. (118) Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville - With Juju leaving, we need a new slot WR. Tutu is on the smaller side and could excel as a slot WR in the NFL.¬†
  • 4. (COMP) Kylin Hill, RB, Miss St. - He was excellent before Mike Leach showed up. The new coaching staff/offensive style did not work well with his skill set and he could be excellent for the Steelers if we put him in a position to succeed. Later value here (if he can rebound).¬†
  • 6. (190) Darren Hall, CB/S, SDSU - He's a versatile piece in the secondary where there's a lot of projected turnover in the next 2 years.¬†
  • 6. (COMP) Trevon Grimes, WR, Florida - Similar to several years ago, we pair a WR with his QB from college. Grimes has deep speed, but also holes in his game. He gives the opposing defenses someone to worry about opposite Claypool, and is drafted in preparation for James Washington leaving next offseason.¬†
  • 7. (208) Adrian Ealy, OT, OK - We need more line depth, and the Banner/Feiler contracts may only be 1 year long.¬†
  • 7. (217) Jonathan Cooper, OLB, Ohio St. - More OLB depth. If Collins ends up playing more at ILB than OLB, we need more depth behind Highsmith and Watt.¬†

It doesn't hit some areas of need (OT, CB, S, TE) as much as I'd like, but you can't fix a team completely in 1 year. It fills the major holes, and emulates the SB winning team, which is often the case (by having a really strong ILB duo, Bush & Collins). We hit RB and WR (twice) to give Ben some strong weapons in his, presumably, final season. Center is also filled early in order to fill the gaping hole on the offensive line. OT is postponed until late in the draft because the Steelers resign talent to tackle those spots, moving Feiler back to RT where he excelled, and putting Dotson at Guard. Collins is capable of filling in at OLB and ILB, but we double up at OLB with Cooper at the end, because Watt and Highsmith will need some depth. 

It's not perfect, but it fills a lot of holes without leveraging future picks. 

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Also, recent news saying Cap is likely $182-$183 million. 

And there's been a fair number of mocks over the weekend that have the Steelers trading up with the Chargers (13) to draft a QB (Mac Jones or Trey Lance). I doubt that happens, I think it's mostly people speculating and not any news from the Steelers FO. 

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On 2/19/2021 at 9:40 AM, Godsbrother said:

I think the days of Ben calling the shots, if they ever existed, are long gone. 

Article on Ben's emotional investment if his guys are gone.

This is kind of what I am getting at.  If Pouncey, JuJu, and Villanueva (and others) are gone, does Ben really have any incentive to come back, and if so, will he really be ALL IN?  

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6 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

Article on Ben's emotional investment if his guys are gone.

This is kind of what I am getting at.  If Pouncey, JuJu, and Villanueva (and others) are gone, does Ben really have any incentive to come back, and if so, will he really be ALL IN?  

Yeah I have no idea where Ben's head is.  

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Steelers restructure Cam Heyward, allegedly free up $7 mil in cap space. 

Players still available to restructure without extensions:

  • Tuitt - $9 mil base salary, could push $4.5 mil into next year if 0 extension
  • Devin Bush - $2.2 mil base, could push $1 mil into next year
  • Boswell - $3 mil base, could push $1.5 into next year

If the Steelers extend/resign the following players they could push out some cap space:

  • Big Ben - $41.25 mil
  • Eric Ebron - $8.5 mil
  • DeCastro - $14.3 mil
  • Tuitt - Only this year and next year left, could extend to push money out.¬†
  • TJ Watt - $10 mil
  • Joe Haden - $15.58 mil
  • Nelson - $14.4 mil
    • I think that one of Nelson/Haden could get cut. But an extension is also possible.¬†

 

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Steelers draft priority should be in order:

OL, OL, then OL.

And Ben should probably call it a career. If they want a QB to hold it down for a year, I am sure Carolina would give up Bridgewater for little.

Only players they should be talking to are Watt and Fitzpatrick.

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3 hours ago, belljr said:

As much a I think its time for ben to move on - i really dont like rudolph

He has shown of few glimpses of being an adequate backup but I don't think anyone believes he is a franchise QB.  If Ben hangs it up the Steelers could be tempted to move up in the draft if Mac Jones drops but more likely they would go with Rudolph or Haskins and hope for the best.

If they suck then you likely have a high draft pick to get your guy in 2022. 

The problem is if either plays really well they will be UFAs in 2022 and you probably aren't going to franchise them

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6 hours ago, Balco said:

Steelers draft priority should be in order:

OL, OL, then OL.

And Ben should probably call it a career. If they want a QB to hold it down for a year, I am sure Carolina would give up Bridgewater for little.

Only players they should be talking to are Watt and Fitzpatrick.

Ben guaranteed 43 million. My guess is you need extend next couple year cap hits with guaranteed moneys for him to agree. 

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16 hours ago, Godsbrother said:

He has shown of few glimpses of being an adequate backup but I don't think anyone believes he is a franchise QB.  If Ben hangs it up the Steelers could be tempted to move up in the draft if Mac Jones drops but more likely they would go with Rudolph or Haskins and hope for the best.

If they suck then you likely have a high draft pick to get your guy in 2022. 

The problem is if either plays really well they will be UFAs in 2022 and you probably aren't going to franchise them

We can tender Dwayne Haskins in 2022. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2927668-dwayne-haskins-rumors-former-wft-qb-visits-steelers-after-meeting-with-panthers

This way, if he plays amazing we can put a 1st round tender on him for $2 mil, and if another team signs him we get a 1st. $2 mil is relatively inexpensive for a backup too, so even if he's not amazing, we could resign him if he's not actively hurting the team, because Rudolph will probably get more than $2 mil in FA. 

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There have been a number of articles recently tying the Steelers to a QB in the 1st round, either Trey Lance, or more likely, Mac Jones. The detractors from Trey Lance mention his poor passing in his lone 2020 game, but also his exceptional athleticism. The only disappointing aspects in Mac Jones' game are that he's not an electric runner, and that he played with exceptional talent. 

I'm not completely sold on Mac Jones, but I do find the arguments against him to be somewhat ridiculous. Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow had some amazing WRs and RBs, and really good offensive lines, but they were both seen as top tier talents. They also tend to run more, and that's not really part of Mac Jones' game. But he is more than capable of moving around in the pocket, or getting outside the pocket and making plays happen. Like many young QBs, he does tend to shortchange throws when on the run and feeling pressure, but so do plenty of NFL QBs. 

There are some really solid aspects of Mac's game too, that a lot of articles proclaiming the death of the pocket passer seem to just overlook. He is able to hit pass catchers in stride most of the time, leading them to where they're going, instead of throwing the ball behind them (which Ben did some this year, and Mason and Duck did all the time last year). His deep ball passing is also exceptional. Sure, Waddle and Smith made some amazing catches, but there were also some perfectly thrown deep balls that went through Waddle's hands or bounced off Metchie's hands. He does seem to underthrow ~10% of his deep passes, but about half of the time his WRs were able to come back and make a play on it. This typically happened when Mac was under pressure and not able to fully step into passes. To that end, his arm strength seems to be solid but not spectacular. 

This video shows every pass and rush by Mac over the course of the 2020 season and it's so clear how much he improved from the beginning of the season through the Championship game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5BJo7bcBbE

I'm not sure he's the answer at QB, or that he'll be a successful NFL player, but it does feel like the "Pocket Passers are doomed, you have to have a running QB" hype is way overblown. Brady and Peyton and Brees did just fine. Sure, a mobile QB gives them a crutch to lean on, and makes the transition easier from college to the NFL because there's more threats for the defense to watch out for, but it's not 100% necessary to succeed in the NFL. Mac can move around and get outside the pocket if he has to, just because he won't have 50 yard runs doesn't mean he definitely won't be a great NFL QB. 

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Trevor's 2020 receivers and oline was the worst of his college career, yet he still produced. You watch Mac, and you see a QB throwing to his first read who seems to be open by 5 yards or more. He's hard to judge based off the talent level he had around him. What can he do when placed on a team where a QB is needed much more than to guide a loaded squad? What can he do when his first read is consistently covered in the NFL? His senior bowl did nothing to make you think, WOW. He had 36 dropbacks during practices, and skipped the game. Too many questions, and I would rather another team find out what the answers are.

Lance is intriguing because the tools are there, but he ran a run-heavy offense, and we only have one season as a starter. His arm is like an explosion every time he throws a bomb. Put him in a play action type offense in the NFL, and you might see fireworks. When you see this guy run, at his size, it's just fun to watch. He had some acuracy issues, but rarely turned the ball over. He will be someone to watch, and is a true project that has the tools. I don't think he makes it to 24, as I see a team taking a shot on him well before that.

 

 

 

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I don't know enough about either of these two guys to say we should draft them.

However the list of running QBs that are elite passers is a short one.  Give me an accurate pocket passer with a little mobility over an athletic running, but inaccurate, QB any day.

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Ben and Art Rooney II met today. According to Ben's agent it went well and he'll be back next season under a readjusted contract (whether that means a cut or extension with voided years remains to be seen). This is definitely not a guarantee that he'll be back, especially since it was Ben's side that released it, but it does make it seem more likely. 

We'll see what happens, I just hope that this doesn't mean that we pass on a QB just because Ben is back. This isn't the same situation as GB and Aaron Rodgers. Ben is not still in his prime and MVP caliber (at least he hasn't looked that way in years). 

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  • Godsbrother changed the title to 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers - Getting ready for Vikings on a short week

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