The Steelers are in a no-win position right now. They are lumbered with some aging players that don't live up to their contract numbers. They are stuck with some young players that are overpaid. They can't afford to re-sign some of their own young players that play significant roles for the team. But to afford them, they must cut existing players from the roster- starters- and promote guys that couldn't beat them out last season.
Whichever way you look at it- the Steelers will be worse off in 2013, personel-wise.
There is no way that cutting Harrison makes the Steelers pass rush better in 2013. Not by promoting Worilds, not by drafting a 1st round rookie.
No rookie RB is going to replace a healthy Mendenhall. And Dwyer & Redman showed what happens when they are called on to be full time replacements for him.
No WR will replace Wallace's production next season- not even the 2012 production. Even if Brown gets comparable stats to Wallace, then Sanders needs to get comparable stats to Brown, or whoever is 3rd WR gets stats similar to Sanders.
This team will be worse in 2013. Getting younger doesn't fix it, not right away.
We ended 2012 with a 8-8 record with the current players on the roster, now its perceived if we lose players like Wallace, Mendy, Starks, Harrison to name a few we might get worse.
The thing is we don't really know.
What happens if we somehow have the same 5 starters on the O-line like the 9ers had in 2013? Beachum might be an upgrade over Colon, DeCastro when healthy should be really good and Adams can run block pretty good at the RT tackle position. The concern is Gilbert at LT, but did we see him play there yet for a full season?
That's his natural position, who knows he may play better than expected and that line could be better than expected as a whole.
Now, with Wallace most likely gone Ben won't have that speed guy for that deep pass, maybe Ben will now rely more on the dink & dunk offense and get better managing it.
We just need a RB, to balance our offense and I believe we could get one that is better than what we have, Cleveland did it last season with Richardson so yes a rookie back can win a starters position.
For me, having our O-line healthy and playing well is the key, everything else will fall into place if we get that unit to have some continuity.
We need to have a solid draft and our current players to step up, I never thought it would happen overnight as I pointed out in another thread.
Look at Keenan Lewis, he came out of nowhere this season and became a pretty good CB, maybe we might see Worlids do the same at OLB, we just don't know yet until he has a full season under his belt.
We still have a window, it may take a few years but as long as Ben is our QB that window is open, when he leaves or retires then we all will be concerned thats when the real worries come into play.
The Colts won 11 games last season without a strong run game, and their defense isn't as good as ours, so don't throw in the towel just yet, your going to need it for the new season.:tt2
Health will play a huge factor...
Even if players like Harrison and Polamalu may be gone, I think the Steelers will be fine if players like Worilds, Woodley and basically the entire offensive line can remain healthy...
Take a look at the two SB teams. What distinguishes them above everyone else? They both have talent, but nothing extraordinary. Now look at their OLs.
The 49ers (as mentioned by another previously) started the same 5 across their line every week. The Steelers struggle to field the same 5 from game to game.
The Ravens were going nowhere until they fired their OC. The new guy comes in and makes one significant move - shuffles the OL. He moved McKinnie to the left side and Oher off "The Blind Side" - they will have to rename his movie. :D They became a much better team after that.
You are correct, younger isn't always better but we aren't talking about replacing players who are performing at the peak of their productive years are we? In that situation I'll default to the younger player versus over paying for a player whose best days are behind them. I am consistent back to "the Trib days" in that I think it is stupid and short-sighted to not play younger players through most of their first contract and then get a one year sample size before you have to make that decision on the big second contract.
Chadman's comments are the thoughts that fuel many sources and media outlets. Many of you Steeler fans don't want to hear it but you have to put yourself in an executive chair and look at it...Not as a fan.
Are the 2013 Steelers a contender with the minimal amount of cutting & restructuring needed to be compliant and also considering the FA losses that will happen because of their cap situation?
Sitting in that "chair" your answer would have to tilt toward the "No" side.
So, Are the Steelers a playoff team with the above in 2013?
Sitting in that "chair" your answer would have to tilt toward the "50-50" side. SB Champ Ravens & a Bengal team who is playoff caliber in our division. So there is no reason to believe that is a definative "yes".
So do you hope fate is on your side and this vet group has one more run in them? or Do you worry about getting you cap structure right and build a new core to make more SB runs with BB on the backside of his career? How long is the transition of tunrover if you try and hang on to some of the vets for 2013 verus clearing the books? The "Fan" in me and the "Executive" in me sit completely opposite on this. In my opinion, the "Product" over the next 3 years will be better if you start sooner than later. It may be the difference between getting back to the SB in 2-3 years versus 3-4. The sooner you get to that level with a 31 year old franchsie QB should be the focus.
I'm not saying they cut everyone...Don't take my words as that. There are some posion contracts right now. With the restructuring that will be done, there could be more but are necessary & a low risk given their ages.
Kiesel & Clark are in their contract years. Their deals are appetizing to shed because of the dead money they create and the quick cap relief they would create. 6 mil would be created. However, if they are healthy, they showed they are still playing at a high level. Their contracts aren't posion but it is money that is there if they need it.
Harrison, Colon, Polamalu, and Taylor are all poison contracts because they go beyond 2013. None of then will play out their deals. All of them have significant penalties if cut. However, those penalties are monies spent. Remember that. I mention that because pretend you are Rooney with his checkbook. I will lump them all together, not saying it will happen. Just to show you where the smoke is coming from. Cutting all of them will save the Steelers 13.6 mil against the cap. Now, they could use that. Do the have people in place behind them? That is another discussion that the Steelers have the answers to. Cutting them creates about 23.5 mil in dead money if done before June 1st. Ugly number right? Remember...That is money spent. The checks were already written for that money. Here is where the business comes in. Without any restructures on these contrats...Rooney will have to write checks for 25.5 mil to have them play 2013. If they play 2013, and they revisit in 2014, the dead money will be less....But the money that came out of his pocket will be the same. Paying to prolong the inevitable? Do they warrant over 20% of the cap? Are those 4 & the 25 mil going to get you to the SB? How about all 6 and 30 mil? They were all on the roster & a year younger with an 8-8 finish. I would hate to be Rooney & KC. Create 20 mil in space & clear the books or spend 30 mil more and put it off one more year. Hmmmmm.
I could see the thought process. I don't think the Rooneys believe that any of the 6 above or all 6 together gets them to the SB. The arrow is pointing down on all of them. One thing that sticks out to me is KC apparent displeasure and I believe that came from above. KC has a boss. I don't think anyone 30 or above is safe with the exception of BB & Miller.
Would anyone here be open to trading Swaggin for a draft pick and sign Keenan Lewis?
Ike has a few good years left in him, some teams might want to make a deal with us if we offered him in a trade. Ike's been a cornerstone at his position and it would be tough to let him leave but we could get a better deal now I believe than waiting down the road.
I would assume we would save some money if that were to happen and get the younger corners signed Allen& Lewis.