Pittsburgh contacted Long’s party, but it was too little, too late as negotiations with St. Louis had already gone past the point of no return. One has to imagine that if the Steelers would have got ahold of Long’s people and informed them of their interest, he would be heading to the Steel City opposed to looking for a house in the Midwest.
The fact that Pittsburgh even thought about acquiring Long is concerning on two fronts.
For one, the organization is attempting to get out of financial trouble after cutting ties with outside linebacker James Harrison and restructuring several other contracts. Signing Long to a long-term deal may make football sense, but it does not make financial sense for the Steelers. Not to mention, the four-year player has had his fair share of injury problems over the past two seasons.
The second reason this is concerning is because Pittsburgh has basically told the players on the team that they have no faith in their current offensive tackles. When an organization that has limited financial flexibility attempts to upgrade a position that does not have an immediate need, it has to be a little alarming.
It is hard to say how well projected left tackle Marcus Gilbert and right tackle Mike Adams will hold up against aggressive pass rushers in the AFC. However, Pittsburgh is at the point where they must see what these two gentlemen can do.
I personally believe the Steelers dodged a bullet by not signing Long because they are now able to focus on other critical areas of the football team.