Two full watches into the Pittsburgh Steelers opening weekend loss to the Denver Broncos has given me a new perspective on this team, and with 15 games to go in the NFL regular season, I see an AFC North that appears to be in control of the Baltimore Ravens, and the Steelers do not have the talent on the roster at 2 key positions to overtake them. Where they do have lots of talent is at the wide receiver position. And so with that being said, the Steelers should trade Mike Wallace as quickly as possible for either a top flight cornerback or offensive tackle.
Now, before you say it, yes I fully understand that in-season trades, particularly ones for premier players rarely happen. But this is a hypothetical I want to explore. The two greatest areas of need for this Steelers team are at cornerback and offensive tackle. Ike Taylor is a solid starter in the secondary but behind him there is a trio of mediocre athletes, none of which help me sleep at night, especially after that Broncos game. On the offensive line it’s been a laundry list of injuries that has left this group in shambles.
In the stock market the rule of thumb is to buy low and sell high. This would be exactly what the Steelers would be doing. After a lengthy holdout, Wallace reported and signed his restricted free agent tender, paying him just under $3 million for the season. A real bargain for the Steelers when you consider just how explosive a player he is. So, the Steelers were able to buy low, why not sell high?
This league has become driven by the passing game. The rules are catered around big passing numbers, from protecting the quarterbacks from being hit, and wide receivers from even being touched. But if you look at the league one week in, 9 teams mustered less than 200 yards passing and only 2 were winners. A player like Wallace would instantly make those teams better.
But who to trade for? My initial idea as I started writing this was the Steelers would trade for an offensive tackle, but as I went through the depth charts of the other 31 teams, I came to the discovery that talent at the tackle position is not great. In fact I didn’t find a team in the league who’s deep enough at tackle to trade one of their starters and be able to replace them with someone talented enough to make the trade.
So instead I turn my attention to cornerback. Of all the teams who struggled to throw the football last weekend, the 3 that stood out to me were the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins, and all have enough depth at cornerback to make the deal. Can you imagine how much better the Steelers secondary would be if Richard Sherman, Aaron Williams, or Steve Smith were lined up opposite Taylor?
The Seahawks and Dolphins are both starting rookie quarterbacks, and what young quarterback wouldn’t want a deep threat like Wallace on the team? I understand the practicality of the trade, but with the way this secondary has performed there is no harm in the Steelers front office at least exploring their options with the deepest unit they have on their roster. And keep in mind, no team has started the season 0-2 and made the playoffs since 2008.
What says you, Steelers faithful? Is it too soon to panic, or should the Steelers make a bold move while they still have control over their season? Come find me on Twitter @nfldraftboard and let me know what you think.