Should Steelers be one of the teams calling Patriots about trade for OT?
A recent report suggests the New England Patriots are engaged in trade talks for offensive tackle, Isaiah Wynn. The Pittsburgh Steelers should be on the phone.
I couldn’t be more disappointed with what I’ve seen from the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line in their first two preseason games of 2022. After a dreadful showing in their opener against Seattle, I was hoping for much better results the second time around after this unit had a bit more time to gel. Apparently, that was wishful thinking.
In Week 2 of the preseason, offensive guard Kendrick Green was tossed around like a ragdoll play after play, while sloppy technique from Dan Moore Jr. nearly got his quarterback flattened on a handful of reps. I’m even disappointed with the play of James Daniels so far — a player I’m still hoping turns out to be one of their better signings of the 2022 offseason.
The patchwork job the Steelers have done on the offensive line over the past few years doesn’t seem to be working so far, and it seems like Mike Tomlin would be jumping for joy if he can even get average play out of this unit this year.
Recently, NFL reporter Albert Breer reported that multiple teams have reached out to the New England Patriots to see if they are willing to part with offensive tackle, Isaiah Wynn. The former Georgia product was the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he has been anything but disappointing.
Should Steelers trade for OT Isaiah Wynn?
There is zero doubt in my mind that Isaiah Wynn would be an upgrade over any player the Steelers currently have on the offensive line. The question becomes: can Pittsburgh afford to trade for him?
Despite his small frame (6’2 3/4”, 313 lbs.), Wynn is a left tackle by nature thanks to his silky-smooth movement skills and flawless technique. Think of him as the A+ version of Kelvin Beachum during his time with the Steelers. According to Pro Football Focus, Wynn has graded out between the 11th and 33rd-best offensive tackles in each of the first that he suited up for in the NFL. Wynn missed his whole rookie season in 2018 with an injury.
Wynn would give the Steelers a 25-year-old stud at the left tackle position that they can start to build a football team around. Though he hasn’t been elected to a Pro Bowl early in his career, this honor certainly isn’t out of reach, and his best football should be ahead of him.
Adding Wynn to the team means that the Steelers could revert Dan Moore Jr. back to the swing OT position (where he probably should be anyway). This would improve the strength of both their starting lineup and their backups, as Moore is still a much better option to enter the game in a pinch at left tackle than Joe Haeg.
Wynn also has position flexibility and can essentially play anything across the offensive line. However, the Steelers would get the biggest bang for their buck by keeping him at left tackle.
Of course, this is all hypothetical. New England would have to be willing to deal with one of their best chess pieces, and Wynn wouldn’t come cheap. The former fifth-round pick is set to play on the fifth-year option in 2022 with an unforgiving base salary of $10.4 million, according to Over the Cap.
Pulling off a move like this would require the Steelers to dip into the bank of T.J. Watt and renegotiate the All-Pros contract in an effort to gain a little extra cash in 2022. This isn’t something that’s impossible to do, but it’s a factor to consider.
Pittsburgh would also have to give up some very good draft capital in the process. For a 25-year-old quality left tackle, that might be as much as a first-round pick. After doing this, the team would have to turn around and give him a massive contract extension.
There are a lot of factors that come into play here, but I’m very confident that Isaiah Wynn would make Pittsburgh’s pedestrian offensive line much better in 2022 and beyond. The Patriots wouldn’t part with him without a solid return, but with the reports that teams have been asking New England about a trade, the Steelers may want to throw their hat in the ring.