Steelers trade for TE Nick Vannett wasn’t their best move

The Steelers recently traded for Seahawks tight end, Nick Vannett. Here are three reasons why that wasn’t a smart move by Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to an 0-3 start. After losing tight end Xavier Grimble to injured reserve, they seem to be desperate for a solution at the position.

But was trading for a player like Nick Vannett the answer we are looking for? Here are three reasons why I wasn’t a fan of trading for the Seahawks backup tight end:

Could have signed TE

Obviously, the Steelers needed to make a move for a tight end. I just don’t agree with trading for a player like Vannett. After an offseason where the Steelers elected to ignore the tight end position, it came back to bite them hard.

The Seahawks were willing to hand Vannett over for a draft choice. They immediately signed former Seattle tight end, Luke Willson. You can try to spin it any way you want, but Nick Vannett is not a special player. The Steelers should have just signed a player like Luke Willson, Dwayne Allen, or Jermaine Gresham in free agency, and held on to their draft pick.

Gave up draft capital for TE in a contract year

With Grimble on IR and Vance McDonald often banged up, I understand why the Steelers wanted to bring in a tight end. However, was trading a fifth-round draft choice for a backup tight end really the way to go?

The Steelers are already short on draft selections next year, and they gave up another one to land a mediocre tight end in a contract year. Even if Vannett turns out to be worth a late-round selection, he will need a new contract this offseason. If not, they waisted a fifth-round pick to rent a bad tight end for 13 games.

Vannett hasn’t been good

Nick Vannett has been in this league for four years now, and there is a reason he hasn’t been noticed: He’s not that good. Vannett currently has a 50.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus and has never had a season over a 63.0 overall grade.

Vannett is a solid run blocker but is nonexistent in the passing game. He has averaged just 12 receptions per year since joining the Seahawks back in 2016. If Vance McDonald goes down, Vannett doesn’t do enough to help in the passing game.

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This really feels like a desperation move to me. I was not a fan of the Mark Barron or Donte Moncrief signings at the time, and this feels similar to me. The Steelers got short-sighted in trying to find an immediate answer at tight end. I hope the Steelers prove me wrong this time.