PITTSBURGH – Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with a loved one or with yourself, there’s a part of everyone that’s focused on the same thing this weekend – the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers off-season is finally taking shape. Vance McDonald and Maurkice Pouncey have continued their NFL careers, Ben Roethlisberger is really starting to think about his future and the free agency is getting closer by the day.
Like the rest of us, the Steelers have a wish list that we hope will come true this off-season. And like all of their fans, they’ll spend Valentine’s Day thinking about whether or not this list will come true.
So what are you hoping for? Well it starts with these four steps that you would like to take in 2021.
Ben Roethlisberger returns under budget
Roethlisberger can return for another season and save the Steelers anywhere near $ 14 million in Cap-Place if they renegotiate his contract. The quarterback lost his offensive coordinator and all-pro center, but he needs to know that this team is still built for a playoff run.
For the Steelers, they wouldn’t want anything other than sit down with their quarterback and save as much money as possible while convincing him to return for another season.
Your perfect situation is to save $ 14 million and get a Hall of Famer back for one final run.
A center is moved to select No. 24
The Steelers could look for a center freehand, but there are options in the NFL draft. Expect an offensive first-round lineman to start as a rookie and build a future with Kevin Dotson, Zach Banner and Company.
If the Steelers could sit around in the 24th poll and drop a highly skilled player to them at the end of the first round, they would be ready.
This saves them money, lets them build without thinking about it later, and gives a rookie center a year with a quarterback like Roethlisberger.
That’s a pretty good way to start an NFL career.
A running back falls into their lap
The Steelers won’t find a return in the free agency that’s cheaper than James Conner and a better option. You also don’t use the first round selection on a running back with offensive line problems.
So they sit around waiting for someone to snap into place during the NFL draft. Donnie Druin predicted this would be done on round four with a name like Chuba Hubbard, which could be the perfect scenario for the Steelers.
The defense stays in tact
The Steelers don’t want to start dealing with cap victims to make money this off-season. Right now, names like Joe Haden and Vince Williams seem to be high on Pittsburgh’s “possible cuts” list.
If the Steelers make it, they’d just love to lose Bud Dupree and a few smaller pieces like Robert Spillane and Cameron Sutton this off-season. Difficult to replace, yes, but certainly a lot less harmful than a corner kick.
At best, the Steelers who start defending look the same as they did in 2020: Devin Bush returns and Alex Highsmith fills in the opposite of TJ Watt.
Noah Strackbein is a publisher at AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack and AllSteelers @si_steelers.