Why this offseason has killed my patience with the Steelers

The Steelers are making moves, but my patience with this team is running thin.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

There’s no doubt about it: The Steelers have been cooking this offseason.

Some of the biggest moves to come out of Pittsburgh so far have included the releasing of both cornerback Patrick Peterson and wide receiver Allen Robinson II, the signings of quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Patrick Queen, and the trading of Diontae Johnson for Carolina corner Donte Jackson.

That sounds like cooking, right? Perhaps, yet these actions teach us a very valuable lesson—anyone can cook, but it’s the ability to cook well that sets teams apart, and the Steelers are yet to convince me that that’s what they’re doing right now.

I hate to be such a negative Nancy here, but when I look at these headlines, I can’t help but roll my eyes at the obscurity they leave Pittsburgh in.

In fact, the only good takeaways I gather from them are that the team’s attempting to drop any dollar signs it finds remotely questionable, and is making an honest effort to better its QB situation—though even that one I’m not entirely sold on, as it let Mason Rudolph, the man who just gave it a late boost-up to the postseason, slip away to Tennessee.

With that said, I want to stress that the Wilson signing is, controversially, not even grazing the top of my gripe list. To be honest, I view that part of this whole puzzle as one of the more agreeable.

Especially when held next to an offense that has hardly anywhere to go but up, his statistical performance shows at least some potential. Not only that, but he can serve as a great mentor for a young Kenny Pickett, who Pittsburgh is understandably not wanting to give up on. No problems there. While this should go without saying, I take no issue with the Queen signing either, though the especially skeptical could definitely argue against the need for him.

But if those aren’t the reasons for my complaining, what are?

Instead, I’m raising my eyebrows at the removals of Peterson and Robinson. Assuming they weren’t refusing to negotiate pay cuts, neither of them were what I would call liabilities. Despite Peterson’s inconsistency in locking things down on the field and Robinson’s statistical impact being quite limited, I feel that both players still had rightful places on the roster.

Similarly to Wilson, Peterson is a HOF-bound talent who could have not only assisted but also mentored a position that needs visible improvement (so much so that I and several others have cornerback being the top need in the upcoming NFL Draft).

As for Robinson, his lackluster performance isn’t all his fault. When combining the fact that he was always meant to be a “depth piece” with Pittsburgh’s recurring theme of underusing talent (Pat Freiermuth, George Pickens, etc.), I find it difficult to not blame at least a portion of his short tenure on the play-calling, and firmly believe we would’ve seen more from him if we simply made a point of throwing him in the mix more often.

But what makes his release especially puzzling is the Johnson trade, as it is now nothing more than a deeper cut in the WR corps. And for what? That Donte Jackson guy? A corner that, based on last season’s numbers, will barely bring more to our defense than Robinson did to our offense? That, in layman’s terms, is not awesome sauce.

Oh, and getting back to offensive play-calling leaving a lot to be desired, we can’t forget that these debatable moves are following another one the Steelers made by hiring Arthur Smith for their offensive coordinator position. Smith, a failed head coach who’s had merely a few accomplishments as an OC that he gets far too much credit for, should sound off yinzers’ alarm bells for obvious reasons.

In short, Pittsburgh’s behavior as of late has conjured just as many—if not more—causes for concern as ones for celebration, and quite frankly, it’s pushed me to my limit. I know all of us have been waiting on a Steel City comeback tour for years now, and we often talk about the frustration that annually grows hotter as a result of the wait never ending, but this is truly getting ridiculous.

The franchise is supposed to be answering questions, not adding to the list of them. Since they refuse to break that habit, I’m going lay my cards on the table once and for all, on behalf of Steelers diehards nationwide.

I’m done trusting the process, I want these moves to pay off NOW

Don’t worry, I’ll keep this brief.

All in all, I have just two demands, with the first one being that Russell Wilson and Patrick Queen both shine. When bending over backward to sign guys that are in no way necessities, failing to capitalize on their potential makes the signings age all the worse and the franchise look all the less trustworthy, which is the last thing we want to see from one that many have continuously lost faith in.

Secondly, wide receiver must join cornerback as a paramount priority in the draft. Again, corner is one that I and several draft experts have endorsed as the top need, and that hasn’t changed upon replacing Patrick Peterson with Donte Jackson, but receiver should probably be where to look for pick #2. In other words, the Steelers better have a George Pickens 2.0 holstered if they're expecting us to just sit back and watch their indescribable damage be dealt to the passing arsenal.

Next. Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh adds an offensive weapon early. Steelers Mock Draft: Pittsburgh adds an offensive weapon early. dark

For the record, the goal here isn’t to convince anyone that these latest changes are bad ones—I’m obviously hoping they aren’t. But, if they ultimately are, my frustration with Pittsburgh’s management is going to reach an all-time high. If you’re so serious about resurfacing as a contender yet insist on making moves so poor that I notice them before you even hit the field, you’re clearly nowhere near ready for a return to relevance.