The NFL trade deadline is just around the corner. Here are my favorite hypothetical trade scenarios for the Pittsburgh Steelers before November 1st.
For years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been willing to trade for players before the NFL trade deadline. In an effort to make a push for a Super Bowl title in a rapidly-closing window, Kevin Colbert was willing to part ways with a fifth or sixth-round pick seemingly every year for a player he and head coach Mike Tomlin believed could help them win right away.
These included trading for players like TE Vance McDonald, TE Nick Vannett, LB Avery Williamson, LB, Joe Schobert, and CB Ahkello Witherspoon. The Steelers even traded a first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick back in 2019 (which proved to be a good move). While some of these trades were hits, all were made with Super Bowl aspirations.
Now the Steelers sit on a 2-5 record and their hopes of even sniffing the playoffs are dwindling fast. In the past, they have been aggressive in trading for players, but perhaps now they should be aggressive in being proactive toward a rebuild. With new names calling the shots in the front office in Omar Khan and Andy Weidl, perhaps they will.
Knowing Mike Tomlin and how much he cares about staying competitive, shopping his own players is very unlikely to be on his to-do list. However, if the Steelers were to make a few proactive moves in an effort to rebuild their roster, here are a few of my favorite hypothetical trade scenarios before the November 1st deadline:
Steelers trade WR Chase Claypool to Packers
Steelers get: 3rd-round pick in 2023, WR Amari Rodgers
Packers get: WR Chase Claypool, 5th-round pick in 2024
I don’t believe there is any truth to the rumors that the Steelers would be willing to trade Chase Claypool. The team made this clear when they reportedly said they would be asking for a Christian McCaffrey-like return in a deal. Nobody is giving this up. However, if they were willing, parting with Claypool might not be a terrible idea for a team that isn’t a competitor this year anyway.
Though I wouldn’t want to stunt the development of Kenny Pickett, Claypool would offer some value to receiver-needy teams around the league. Green Bay is one of them. Theoretically, Pittsburgh could probably get a third-round pick back for Claypool and a fifth. However, this trade now becomes a bit more difficult knowing that Calvin Austin won’t be joining the team in 2023 as he will remain on IR.
The Steelers won’t trade Claypool, but I would be content with this haul. Pittsburgh is not going to re-sign the athletic WR following the 2023 season with Johnson already under contract and George Pickens up and coming. A third-round pick could go a long way toward a rebuild if used properly.