After Friday’s loss to the Redskins, a beacon of light has shined down on the offensive line and some (like myself) began to wonder, ‘Should the Steelers have gone after a marquee offensive lineman during the free agency frenzy?’ Not that there were many to choose from during the time, but never has the signing of Colon, Scott and Legursky been able to unnerve my uneasy feeling about the stability and capability of this offensive line. As of Monday, an opportunity has arisen and the immediate future of this line could change…. for the better.
On Monday of this week the Saints released tackle Jon Stinchcomb. He played 8 seasons under the Saints and started every single game for them since 2006. The past few seasons, he’s been riddled with minor injuries – shoulder here, knee there. But, he played through it all. His toughness and ability to excel while injured thrusted him as a locker room and fan favorite with the Saints. His personality also made him a well liked guy with teammates and is close friends with the guy he watched out for, Drew Brees. The Saints organization had this to say about Stinchcomb upon his release:
"‘We as an organization have the utmost respect for Jon and all that he has worked so hard to accomplish during his career. He’s exemplified professionalism, both on the field and in our community and been an outstanding player, teammate and mentor to many of our younger players. We respect the efforts and professionalism he brought to our team.’ ~ Saints GM Mickey Loomis"
Sounds like he was born to be a Steeler.
Here’s why picking up Stinchcomb would be a great move by the Steelers. He’s still ‘young’ at 31. He has 5 full seasons under his belt as a starter and is a former Pro Bowl selection (2009). He was the longest tenured Saint and very effective at his position at right tackle. His resume checks out. He’s better than most of the offensive line in the ‘Burgh already. I’m not saying he’s some sort of Matrix Neo who will save the world with his right tackle skills, but that athletic 315lb frame is a huge improvement.
Some of you have probably been saying since the first paragraph, ‘The Steelers just signed Colon to a long term deal, and he already plays right tackle. Why would they add another tackle?’ Ah, you would be right my observant friends who say so. But, it has been rumored/confirmed/rejected/accepted that Willie Colon would be a good fit at right guard. That’s right, guard. Even his agent, Joe Linta, stated that he would be a good fit at that position. No wait, not just a good fit but a future Pro Bowler as guard. So try this, Colon moves ahead of Ramon Foster to start at right guard (a good move already) and Stinchcomb takes his place at right tackle. Here is your first team (from left to right): Hills, Kemoeatu, Pouncey, Colon, Stinchcomb. That leaves solid backups with J. Scott, Williams, Legursky and C. Scott. ‘Wow, that all seems pretty reasonable.’ And, if you said that, you would also be right my perceptive Citizen.
I hope that Colbert sees Stinchy on his radar and takes a good look at him. He’s worth releasing some other players from the team to make room to sign him. He was to make $2.25 million with the Saints this year. I’m sure by being released, a GM could argue that a player’s value goes down. Even if we could lock him up for a two year $1.75-2 million a year contract would go a long way for this offense. Should we be storming the castle with this demand? It would be fun, but Stinchcomb isn’t an elite player just waiting to be snatched up. I do think it’s a smart move to get a Pro Bowl vet on this line. We haven’t had a Pro Bowler on this line since Faneca in 2008 – and he was the only lineman in ’07 and ’08 to go. Let’s make it happen Colbert!
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