Trading for success: 5 moves that could reshape the struggling Steelers

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
4 of 5

Shaq Thomas could be a splash get for the Steelers at linebacker

Inside linebacker is not as big of a weakness as it was last season. The mixture of Cole Holcomb, Kwon Alexander, and Elandon Roberts have been able to do just enough to keep the linebacker group in a positive direction. That is not to say that this group is without flaw as they could use an upgrade. They still need a three-down linebacker on defense.

Holcomb has been decent, but there could be better options out there on the trade block. When you look at potential names available, you have to look at teams that are already out of the playoffs before a trade could even be considered. One club that is out of it by far is the Carolina Panthers as they have struggled to find footing this season.

Shaq Thompson has been a key piece to their defense since he was drafted to Carolina in 2015. He won't be 30 years old until April. and he is under contract for another season after this one concludes. Thompson could be an addition to send shock waves around the NFL for the Steelers. He has been a top linebacker with the Panthers for a while.

It would be a new defense for him to learn. but he would be an upgrade over every linebacker on Pittsburgh's roster right now. He still has speed and can stop the run and cover when called upon. Carolina is terrible this year and adding a couple of picks in the draft might be their best course of action. The Panthers are desperate and might consider moving a star player like Thompson.