The Pittsburgh Steelers are keeping Le’Veon Bell a priority, but it’s taking away from the real issue.
There’s more than one position the Steelers need to focus on this offseason. Yes, Le’Veon Bell is one of them, and a major one if that. But not that only one. With Ryan Shazier still trying to stand on his own, L.T. Fort still the team’s starting inside linebacker, this team needs to begin multitasking.
The offseason can no longer be “get Le’Veon back.” It’s important. Very important, but not the only thing to focus on. While they continue negotiating, they need to turn some attention to the issue of inside linebacker and how they’re going to fill the need.
While some say the NFL Draft is the answer and there should be no question about it, maybe it’s not the only one. With players like Todd Davis and Avery Williamson can come in and immediately start for Pittsburgh. Maybe they aren’t Ryan Shazier, but they certainly have just as much potential as first round considerations like Malik Jefferson and Rashaan Evans.
Right now, this team will seemingly do anything to get Bell back. They’ve reconstructed contracts and are likely going to make a few roster cuts just to free up space for his record-breaking contract.
He deserves his money, but at what cost? Pittsburgh is on the verge of a Super Bowl. Not almost there, literally the next team to get one. This roster is stacked and compared to others in the NFL, Pittsburgh is the top of the list.
So, how much shifting can this team do before they ruin it? Not a lot. Cutting guys like Vance McDonald and Mike Mitchell are okay if they replace them.
Find a new safety in the draft, but make sure he’s ready to be the next Sean Davis immediately. A year or two before he’s ready and you have a major gap in the secondary… again. Sign another tight end, but don’t sign a second-tier player because you can’t afford a first. McDonald’s contract may be too pricey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get another player of the same quality for less.
Pittsburgh can’t just assume they can make room for Bell without paying consequences. If they don’t have a plan to cover the positions they’re eventually going to clear room with, they aren’t going to make the progress they need to in order to get back to where they want to be.
There needs to be a plan, and right now, it doesn’t seem like there is one. Clear up space to resign to Bell and draft a linebacker – that’s what everyone is assuming. But how do you clear up enough space to sign him, and if it evolves cutting starters, how do you replace them?
There are questions to be answered, and no answers presented. Until there’s proof this is going to work, it’s can only be assumed that it isn’t going to.
Pittsburgh is smart enough to figure this out, but for everyone on the outside, this offseason seems like it could put some dents in their plan to hunt down ring number seven.