The Pittsburgh Steelers are stuck in a rut, and it’s possible that the organization could look to add talent before the NFL trade deadline.
The Week 7 loss to the Miami Dolphins was huge. If this team were sitting at 3-4 right now (as opposed to their current 2-5 record) making a play for a veteran who could help them get in the playoff hunt would have been much easier to justify. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers are backed against the corner, and they won’t be willing to go down without a fight.
Though most rational fans know that this team isn’t going to compete for a playoff spot this year, it may not stop Mike Tomlin and the front office from making present-minded moves and parting with some future draft capital in order to improve their roster just before the NFL trade deadline.
I want the record to show that I am not in favor of this line of thinking. I believe that the window has closed for Pittsburgh and they should be making more proactive moves with the future state of the team in mind. However, that just typically isn’t how they do business. If the team is to trade for players who could help improve their roster before the deadline, here are some of the players rumored to be on the trade block and who they could potentially target:
Steelers could trade for CB William Jackson
Going into the season, the Steelers had shaky cornerback depth, and the strength of their starting unit was in question. These concerns proved to be warranted, as role players like Levi Wallace and Arthur Maulet have been disastrous in coverage this year. On top of this, Pittsburgh has dealt with injuries at the cornerback position as early as Week 3.
While it’s naive to believe that a veteran cornerback will be enough to shift the tides on the Steelers season, I can see them going after CB help before the deadline. One player who could be traded is Washington CB, William Jackson. If you recall, the Steelers were reportedly infatuated with Jackson during the 2016 NFL Draft, but when he was taken one pick ahead of them in the first round, they opted for Artie Burns.
Jackson has been in a bit of a slump and isn’t having his best season with the Commanders. However, the Steelers could desperately use help at boundary cornerback, and Jackson offers more speed than anyone they currently have at the position. Meanwhile, Ahkello Witherspoon has missed multiple games with a pretty severe hamstring injury.
Jackson has a very manageable base salary and he would almost immediately be thrust into a starting role in Pittsburgh. At the cost of a late-round pick, acquiring his services could be tempting to a team with struggling cornerbacks.