It’s more headlines than football for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who need to move past the drama before the 2019 season.
The Steelers seem to be the center of the drama the past year with their two stars, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. This drama has been an embarrassment to a proud organization. Now, I am not ready to say that Tomlin ever lost the locker room, but the team was distracted by their stars.
Le’Veon Bell has been nothing but a headache as of late. He was injury prone early in his career and got in trouble with the law and the league with by driving under the influence of marijuana. Sure, he may still be the best back in the league, but how valuable is a running back in today’s NFL.
It seems that the best offenses in the NFL are lead by their passing attacks. Also, running backs don’t usually last past the age of 30. So it seems that it is time to cut bait with the star running back.
Unfortunately, the Steelers are rumored to be putting the transition tag on Le’Veon Bell. I think this is a bad idea because if a team outbids the Steelers, then they don’t get any compensation. If they let him walk, they will probably get a compensatory pick in the third round.
Antonio Brown has been a headache as of late as well. He quit on his team by going AWOL before the Steelers season finale against the Bengals. He also has been in trouble by reportedly pushing the mother of his child. He also got a reckless driving ticket and did not show up to court. This has all transpired recently.
This is not to mention the previous problems the Steelers have had with Brown putting Mike Tomlin on facebook live, throwing furniture off a balcony and the throwing of a water cooler during games. Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the league, but teams have won the Super Bowl without elite wide receivers.
I acknowledge that the Steeler will be without their playmakers, but the good news is they will have replacements that can do the job. JuJu Smith-Schuster has comparable numbers to Odell Beckham Jr. early in his career. James Conner is a Pro Bowl back. So really, these guys have been replaced.
Now, they can focus with more cap space on filling voids like drafting a cornerback and a replacement for Bud Dupree. They can also resign some guys in free agency like Ramon Foster, LJ Fort and BJ Finney. Certainly, those names won’t wow you, but they are pieces to a championship caliber team.
They can also look to add some help in free agency at areas like inside linebacker, corner, and safety. They can bring in some competition for Boswell.
Lastly, they can focus on guys who are here to win above their personal interests.