There is no “next season” for the Pittsburgh Steelers anymore.
It’s clear that not everyone is thrilled with the Steelers’ decision to sign Joe Haden to a three-year, $27 million contract. At 27-years-old, dealing with two injuries in the last two seasons, people seem to believe the corner’s best days are behind him.
Well, the Steelers’ best days are still in front of them. With a roster ready to win the Super Bowl, now, this team made the decision to play for this year’s Lombardi, not next year’s.
This is not the New York Jets making a ton of big name signings trying to stack their roster for a Super Bowl run. This is a team who’s been one of the best for years but hasn’t been able to get over the hump. So, instead of playing like maybe we have enough to win, but maybe we don’t, Pittsburgh saw an opportunity to step up their game, and they took it.
For starters, Ben Roethlisberger is likely retiring after the season. Yes, Josh Dobbs is the future and people should be excited about that, but he’s no Big Ben. The Steelers know that, the NFL knows that, and the team knows that. In a few years, maybe he’ll be a Pro Bowler who can lead this team back to a Super Bowl, but that’s a big question mark right now.
This means if the Steelers want a ring, they need to win it now. So, they went out and solved the biggest issue on their roster.
While the money may have been excessive, signing Joe Haden means more for this team than any move they’ve made in years. Ross Cockrell and Coty Sensabaugh weren’t going to cut it on the outside, and Cameron Sutton will be a star, but his best fit is playing slot corner.
This isn’t a move many people will feel good about right away, but with Haden on the field opposite of Artie Burns, there’s a much stronger sense of security which will change the entire mentality of this defense.
Most people’s instant reaction is a bad move because of the money. Well, when the Steelers are battling it out with Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Joe Flacco and whatever other elite quarterbacks they come across this season, they’ll be thankful it isn’t Cockrell or Sensabaugh on the field.
2017 has now become a Super Bowl season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t waiting around any longer.