Steelers bypass wide receiver trade options in favor of Scotty Miller

The Steelers opted not to make a trade for a wide receiver but decided to take a cheaper free-agency route
Oct 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller (10) takes a knee
Oct 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller (10) takes a knee / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The uproar about the Steelers trading for some top NFL wide receiver has been the talk of every internet sportswriter for months, either before the NFL draft or shortly thereafter. Yet, with all the rumors circulating, the Steelers never pulled the trigger on a trade.

Even after drafting Roman Wilson, who helped fill the gap at wide receiver, it was still painfully obvious the Steelers still needed more veteran depth at the position. The only thing that needed to be clarified was how they would address the fact they still needed another wide receiver, given no trades ever materialized. 

The Steelers, in a move that may not please all fans, opted for a strategic approach to address their need for a wide receiver. Rather than making a costly trade for the likes of Brandon Aiyuk or Denver's Courtland Sutton,  they chose a more subtle path. This decision, while not the most glamorous, was a calculated move that found an equitable solution to their need.

What does Scotty Miller bring to the Steelers?

To fill the depth problem at wide receiver, the Steelers went the route of reuniting another former Falcons player with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. However, keep in mind that although Miller played under Arthur Smith and is familiar with Smith's style, he is far from a game-breaker. At best, he is a number five or six wide receiver. 

Miller played four seasons with Tampa Bay and one with the Falcons. In five seasons, he has 85 receptions, or 17 per season. Interestingly, though, he averages 12.76 yards per reception, so when he does catch the ball, you're looking at a first down. 

While he may not be the cream of the crop as wide receivers go, he could have a potentially higher ceiling in Pittsburgh with all the offensive changes. Although he didn't produce stellar numbers with Tom Brady throwing to him either but then again, he was like a four or five in Tampa Bay. With defenses needing to cover Roman Wilson, George Pickens, and the speedy Calvin Austin and Pat Freiermuth, someone like Miller could find a soft over-the-middle open spot for 10 yards.

It's important to acknowledge that Scotty Miller may not be the ultimate solution to the Steelers' wide receiver depth problem. He could, however, prove to be a valuable backup, particularly in the event of an injury.  Who knows; he might even make a few clutch plays along the way in 2024, adding unexpected value to the team.