Steelers CB Ahkello Witherspoon deemed perfect trade fit with Raiders

Steelers, Ahkello Witherspoon
Steelers, Ahkello Witherspoon / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the NFL Draft, there was a lot of speculation regarding the 2023 status of several players on the roster. Because of their depth at the offensive guard position post-free agency, Kevin Dotson was a player that some predicted the Pittsburgh Steelers would look to trade during the draft. With James Daniels on the roster and the additions of both Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig in free agency, he's still not guaranteed to make the team.

Now Ahkello Witherspoon is being talked about in the same way. The Steelers suddenly had a surplus of cornerbacks following the 2023 NFL Draft, and many now believe that Witherspoon is on the outside of the roster bubble looking in.

Recently, Alex Kay of Bleacher Report detailed five trades that should still happen before the start of the 2023 NFL season. One of those was a trade involving Witherspoon and the Las Vegas Raiders. B/R believes Witherspoon is an ideal fit with the Raiders team that lacks cornerback talent, and that the Steelers could trade him for a sixth-round pick.

Can the Steelers trade Ahkello Witherspoon?

Considering the Steelers paid good money to acquire Patrick Peterson in free agency and doubled up on cornerback in the 2023 NFL Draft with Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr., it's probably pretty safe to say that Witherspoon will have a very limited role on the team if he does manage to stick around.

In addition to his inconsistencies on the field, Witherspoon has been banged up often with soft-tissue injuries. Last year, he spent much of the season sidelined with a lingering hamstring issue. Oftentimes, the best ability is availability, but Witherspoon hasn't even offered that in Pittsburgh.

What makes this situation a bit tricky is that the Steelers were recently forced cut Arthur Maulet after a dispute over contract language for the 2023 season. Maulet was clearly disgruntled and Omar Khan agreed to his request to be released.

Maulet is a slot cornerback, so he and Witherspoon don't play the same role. This might make it slightly more likely that Witherspoon could make the team. But if Pittsburgh still plans to sign another slot cornerback to compete with Chandon Sullivan at that role, we might be back at square one with Witherspoon.

By trading Ahkello Witherspoon, Pittsburgh land a Day 3 draft choice for next April and save $4 million in the process. This isn't a bad proposal for a player who isn't guaranteed to have a role on the team in 2023.

Early 53-man roster predictions for Steelers after the NFL Draft. dark. Next

Witherspoon has had his moments in Pittsburgh, but considering the depth they have at boundary cornerback now with players like Patrick Peterson, Joey Porter Jr., Levi Wallace, Cory Trice Jr., and James Pierre, if they can get a draft pick in a trade for him in a trade, they better take it.