Welp, the Steelers are certainly throwing us a curveball as we head into week seven. Desmond King was a quick addition to the roster after initial cutdowns this offseason. An experienced and talented player, the expectation was for King to eventually work his way into the starting slot role, a position he excels at and that was lacking on the roster. Now, the team seems set to move on from him.
King had a slow start to his Steelers career, which isn’t unexpected given his late addition to the roster. He was inactive for the first few games and only saw the field on special teams for the rest of the tenure. It wasn’t like he was on the bench because of the talent in front of him, as the secondary has been a mess so far this year.
I half expected King to move into the starting role on run-downs this week, as teams have picked on Chandon Sullivan so far this season. While it wasn’t a sure thing that King would return to form for this defense, he couldn’t have been much worse than Sullivan.
The Steelers aren’t making a logical move
This is a very un-Steelers move to be making right now. King wasn’t getting a lot of playing time, but to move on from a veteran who wasn’t being vocal about his displeasure, if there was any, isn’t logical. Assuming this team still views itself as a contender, which is likely given the 3-2 record and the pride this organization has, why would you dump a veteran slot cornerback?
This move seems set in stone and will come by either a trade or a release within the next day or so. The team is already signing rookie cornerback Darius Rush to be his replacement, so the team seems focused on youth as opposed to experience. That is logical for a rebuilding team, not one that is trying to win now.
Had a team wowed the Steelers with a great offer, that is one thing. As it seems though, Pittsburgh has shopped him around and has had little luck. Cutting him for nothing would stink, but it seems squarely on the table.
The only way this makes sense is if the team continues to shed some dead weight at the cost of success this season. While it may not be a true tanking situation, this team could be throwing in the towel on the current season and focusing on the future. Again, given the standing of this team, I find that hard to believe.
Overall, this is a puzzling move that I can’t quite figure out. Moving on from King isn’t the end of the world if this team was prepping for the future or had good cornerback play so far this season. Neither is true though, and his impending release/trade from the roster is an unwise one.