Listened to Bouchette's rationale for letting him go to the Pats, and it changed my perspective on this. Bouchette advocates letting him go and get the 3rd round pick, rather than sign him at risk for what might be one year and then he's gone for nothing in return.
Bouchette critiques in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... ???
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE TROLL
It's sound logic, that's exactly what a lot of folks thought about Wallace last year, and guess what happened....
I'm not smart enough to know whether letting him go now in return for something of value, to avoid losing losing him next year and getting NOTHING in return, is the right move but ....
All I do know is Ben isn't getting any younger, and at some point we have to stop saying "manana/next year" and start saying "This year we start our 2-year plan for bringing Lombardi 7 home, at all costs ...".
Seems like the FO is just treading water, when we need to start sprinting now, or at least immediately after this last turn of the race that we're two strokes away from. I would feel much better if I had the feeling they were going to try their best to win SB 7 this year or next, rather than making "prudent" financial decisions. Maybe they are doing the right thing, and I'm too ignorant to see it, but I kind of see things going on now as being in the penny-wise/pound foolish mode.
We got our "6-PACK" - time to work on a CASE!
HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!
While I see your point, what can we reallistically do given our cap situation? The cap dictates what teams can do. At some point, all the stuff we did over the past several years to get the rings we got has caught up and you have to rebuild at some point. Retaining Sanders won't be the difference between championship or not this next season. Getting someone from the draft has a chance at getting us someone better than Sanders.
Best we can hope for is that the rebuilding process happens while Ben still has gas left in the tank - and hope that we can find another franchise QB when Ben is gone.
Contract situations and money concerns crop up every year for the Steelers. I don't think they should override every other concern. I say sign him because it would not cost them a lot. If they have him one season and that is the way it works out then let the future take care of itself. I dislike the idea of always formulating your roster based on concerns about a future contract. Do what is best for the team today because most of you cannot predict how the future play out.
I think Sanders would be better for the team this year than a rookie or any of the FA names mentioned. It is a little speculative because so far he has not been a full-time starter. It is encouraging that Belicik thinks of him highly. He hasn't won all those games being a poor judge of talent. On this point, I agree with him.
Let him go! This is a deep draft and Tomlin/ Colbert have proven they can draft DB's and WR's. If we can somehow trade 1:17 to Miami for their two seconds, or trade down in the first with the Vikes for one of their two first rounders plus a third and fourth, then we could be in business. The Vikes may be eager to move up for a true impact player they covet, and the Phins are trying to level the playing field with the Pats. We could trade down in the first, draft Eifert who is a day one starter, and position ourselves to take advantage of this deep WR, RB, and S draft....3 areas we need, while still leaving picks to address other needs.
Teams never know what will get out of a 3rd round pick. Most 3rd round picks never become starters. The Steelers and Pats don't have 3 to 4 years to wait for a 3rd round pick to develop because of the situation at QB.