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Thread: 2022 Priorities

  1. #1
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    2022 Priorities

    Sorry guys. This started off as a post on another thread and just kept going so I decided to move it. Long winded but trying to cover most of the off-season goals.

    I am reading a lot of different takes on what will happen next season. Who will be the QB, what positions will be drafted, why is Canada coming back etc.

    Here is what I believe the Steelers are thinking:

    2022 is finally the year of the great salary cap reset. For years the Steelers have been up against the cap. No problem, anytime you get close enough you simply restructure another vet and kick the can down the road. We have this discussion every year. How long do we continue to kick the can down the road? Until Ben is gone. Well here we are.

    2022 cap - Currently (according to OTC) a little less than $42M under the cap. But that is a misleading number as it always is. What are the Steelers getting for their $174M cap commitment? No franchise QB, only 2 receivers, no proven top tier OL starter, no stud CB, as well as gaps at ILB and 2 unknowns on the DL. Fill any two of those with a top tier FA and you've eaten up most of the $42M.

    What else is on the '22 cap? 5 players eating up around $22M of dead money. Ben, Ebron, and Ju Ju have voidable years totaling about $19.5M. Add in dead money from Ingram and Roche and we hit $22M. There is also voidable years money on Tuitt, and we don't even know his status.

    What I think happens at QB - Steelers will either sign a cheap FA (hopefully someone who once showed promise) to compete for the starting position with Mason and Haskins OR draft the guy who they think is the next franchise QB, who will sit behind Mason/Haskins next season. I don't know who that might be but maybe they do. They will not either bring in via FA or trade a high priced QB (Cousins, Rodgers, Wilson etc.) and will not spend a draft pick on a late round guy.

    In the draft and FA - The Steelers were embarrassed giving up 200 yards rushing to every backup RB in the league. Steelers' identity is hard nosed D and this was humiliating. Steelers will concentrate on fixing the D. They will also (finally) continue to try to fix the OL, although my years of wishing for a high pick lineman have led me to no longer predict that. First pick will either be an OT, CB, or possibly DL. OT or CB are very expensive to sign in FA, DT if they know neither of their IR Dlinemen are returning.

    Big contract decisions - Tuitt and Alualu are on the books for hits of $13.975M and $3.462M respectively. Saving of $4.295M and $2.5M respectively. Both of those guys will be a physical and mental health decision who are only worth the cap hits if they can play, and play well. Other potential cap casualties:

    Derek Watt: $4.7M cap hit, $2.75M cap savings if cut. For a STer who rarely sees the field on offense, a long talk with Matt Canada to decide this.
    Banner: $6.625M cap hit, $5M cap savings if cut. No brainer. Guy hasn't played in two years and when he finally got healthy could not crack this awful line.
    Schobert: $9.722 cap hit, $7.834M cap savings if cut. Another easy call. Too much money to find out if he can play on this D.
    Haeg: $3.1M cap hit, $2.6M cap savings if cut. I think they keep him. They played him at RT over Banner late, possibly costing a comp pick. Veteran stays.

    FA

    ERFA
    Hassenauer will be signed
    Acy and Christmas - eh whatever

    RFA
    Haskins, Spillane, Allen will all be tendered, but none at the highest level.

    UFA - Every UFA contract will be judged by "Can he contribute on a contending team in 2024" which is realistically the fastest turnaround the team can expect
    Adams and Edmunds will be pursued as a priority. Adams at a backup role and Edmunds as a slightly above average safety.
    Ju Ju will be offered a nice contract but nowhere near premium value. Fair that recognizes his desires to stay. Somewhere around 3-4 year and $10M/yr
    Haden will maybe be offered a 1-2 year contract. At 32 y.o. he does not meet the 2024 criteria and therefore can't still be on the books by then. I think he leaves for a better contract elsewhere.
    Witherspoon, while the new favorite of some, does not have track record of long term success. At 26 y.o. maybe they offer a reasonable $7-8M/yr deal. There are quite a few big names on the market and a fair share of decent corners, and one young stud (JC Jackson). Unlike some, I won't be overly concerned if he doesn't sign.
    Chuks - offer him 3-4 years half way between starter and backup money. He is okay as either a swing tackle or the worst starter on your line. If he is your best then you are in trouble.
    Ebron, Turner, Washington thank you for your service. Good luck in your future endeavors.
    Ballage, Finney, Ray Ray, Taco, Dobbs, Killebrew, Maulet some come back cheap, some move on, no big deal on any of these players.
    Ben......probably not re-signing.

    Philosophy behind this entire strategy: Clear the cap, no stop gaps with long term financial commitments, prepare to compete by 2024.

  2. #2
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    PC with 'Spoon.

    Sounds like he's going to test UFA and see what the best deal is. Not a surprise since this is the smart thing to do IMO.

    Although he does also talk about feeling like the system fits his talents and that he made friends / brotherhood with the guys on the team.
    Last edited by Northern_Blitz; 01-20-2022 at 05:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    Sorry guys. This started off as a post on another thread and just kept going so I decided to move it. Long winded but trying to cover most of the off-season goals.

    I am reading a lot of different takes on what will happen next season. Who will be the QB, what positions will be drafted, why is Canada coming back etc.

    Here is what I believe the Steelers are thinking:

    2022 is finally the year of the great salary cap reset. For years the Steelers have been up against the cap. No problem, anytime you get close enough you simply restructure another vet and kick the can down the road. We have this discussion every year. How long do we continue to kick the can down the road? Until Ben is gone. Well here we are.

    2022 cap - Currently (according to OTC) a little less than $42M under the cap. But that is a misleading number as it always is. What are the Steelers getting for their $174M cap commitment? No franchise QB, only 2 receivers, no proven top tier OL starter, no stud CB, as well as gaps at ILB and 2 unknowns on the DL. Fill any two of those with a top tier FA and you've eaten up most of the $42M.

    What else is on the '22 cap? 5 players eating up around $22M of dead money. Ben, Ebron, and Ju Ju have voidable years totaling about $19.5M. Add in dead money from Ingram and Roche and we hit $22M. There is also voidable years money on Tuitt, and we don't even know his status.

    What I think happens at QB - Steelers will either sign a cheap FA (hopefully someone who once showed promise) to compete for the starting position with Mason and Haskins OR draft the guy who they think is the next franchise QB, who will sit behind Mason/Haskins next season. I don't know who that might be but maybe they do. They will not either bring in via FA or trade a high priced QB (Cousins, Rodgers, Wilson etc.) and will not spend a draft pick on a late round guy.

    In the draft and FA - The Steelers were embarrassed giving up 200 yards rushing to every backup RB in the league. Steelers' identity is hard nosed D and this was humiliating. Steelers will concentrate on fixing the D. They will also (finally) continue to try to fix the OL, although my years of wishing for a high pick lineman have led me to no longer predict that. First pick will either be an OT, CB, or possibly DL. OT or CB are very expensive to sign in FA, DT if they know neither of their IR Dlinemen are returning.

    Big contract decisions - Tuitt and Alualu are on the books for hits of $13.975M and $3.462M respectively. Saving of $4.295M and $2.5M respectively. Both of those guys will be a physical and mental health decision who are only worth the cap hits if they can play, and play well. Other potential cap casualties:

    Derek Watt: $4.7M cap hit, $2.75M cap savings if cut. For a STer who rarely sees the field on offense, a long talk with Matt Canada to decide this.
    Banner: $6.625M cap hit, $5M cap savings if cut. No brainer. Guy hasn't played in two years and when he finally got healthy could not crack this awful line.
    Schobert: $9.722 cap hit, $7.834M cap savings if cut. Another easy call. Too much money to find out if he can play on this D.
    Haeg: $3.1M cap hit, $2.6M cap savings if cut. I think they keep him. They played him at RT over Banner late, possibly costing a comp pick. Veteran stays.

    FA

    ERFA
    Hassenauer will be signed
    Acy and Christmas - eh whatever

    RFA
    Haskins, Spillane, Allen will all be tendered, but none at the highest level.

    UFA - Every UFA contract will be judged by "Can he contribute on a contending team in 2024" which is realistically the fastest turnaround the team can expect
    Adams and Edmunds will be pursued as a priority. Adams at a backup role and Edmunds as a slightly above average safety.
    Ju Ju will be offered a nice contract but nowhere near premium value. Fair that recognizes his desires to stay. Somewhere around 3-4 year and $10M/yr
    Haden will maybe be offered a 1-2 year contract. At 32 y.o. he does not meet the 2024 criteria and therefore can't still be on the books by then. I think he leaves for a better contract elsewhere.
    Witherspoon, while the new favorite of some, does not have track record of long term success. At 26 y.o. maybe they offer a reasonable $7-8M/yr deal. There are quite a few big names on the market and a fair share of decent corners, and one young stud (JC Jackson). Unlike some, I won't be overly concerned if he doesn't sign.
    Chuks - offer him 3-4 years half way between starter and backup money. He is okay as either a swing tackle or the worst starter on your line. If he is your best then you are in trouble.
    Ebron, Turner, Washington thank you for your service. Good luck in your future endeavors.
    Ballage, Finney, Ray Ray, Taco, Dobbs, Killebrew, Maulet some come back cheap, some move on, no big deal on any of these players.
    Ben......probably not re-signing.

    Philosophy behind this entire strategy: Clear the cap, no stop gaps with long term financial commitments, prepare to compete by 2024.
    Excellent post. Well thought out

    I think it gets to be Witherspoon or Haden because I think they get the same offer value wise.
    I think JuJu is a near must resign. Claypool and Johnson are both inconsistent.
    I think the same abouyt Edmunds. Much better player than he gets credit for and who gets better every year. Works well with Minkah. Don't need to add an unknown to the secondary
    "My team, may they always be right, but right or wrong...MY TEAM!"

  4. #4
    Legend

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    Reasonable post and approach.

    I mostly agree but also suspect Tomlin feels pressure in a post Ben world to finish with a winning record and we’ll be pushing to make the playoffs next year while on the path to an even better following season.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Excellent post. Well thought out

    I think it gets to be Witherspoon or Haden because I think they get the same offer value wise.
    I think JuJu is a near must resign. Claypool and Johnson are both inconsistent.
    I think the same abouyt Edmunds. Much better player than he gets credit for and who gets better every year. Works well with Minkah. Don't need to add an unknown to the secondary
    I get the feeling watching Edmunds he might be on the verge of exploding into a solid to great player like Bud Dupree did. I saw vast improvement in him this season on play recognition, closing the gap distance better & even making tackles for loss on key short yardage runs & bubble screens.

  6. #6
    Legend

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    Resigning Juju? So resign another wide receiver that can’t beat man coverage? No thanks. We have two in Claypool and DJ.
    From the 2010-2021 season, (A 12year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Currently, Tomlin hasn't won a playoff game in 5 years.

    Dolphin fans in the 90ís held on to Don Shula for too long for what he did in the playoffs in the 70ís...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2021 ) holding on to Tomlin for too long for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches.

  7. #7
    Legend

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    Quote Originally Posted by LPMAN View Post
    I get the feeling watching Edmunds he might be on the verge of exploding into a solid to great player like Bud Dupree did. I saw vast improvement in him this season on play recognition, closing the gap distance better & even making tackles for loss on key short yardage runs & bubble screens.
    agreed, probably comes down to what kind of offers he gets in free agency.

  8. #8
    Legend

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    Quote Originally Posted by LPMAN View Post
    I get the feeling watching Edmunds he might be on the verge of exploding into a solid to great player like Bud Dupree did. I saw vast improvement in him this season on play recognition, closing the gap distance better & even making tackles for loss on key short yardage runs & bubble screens.
    I hope your right. And then if we lock him in to a decent price , we can get the benefit of staying with him through his growth.
    From the 2010-2021 season, (A 12year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Currently, Tomlin hasn't won a playoff game in 5 years.

    Dolphin fans in the 90ís held on to Don Shula for too long for what he did in the playoffs in the 70ís...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2021 ) holding on to Tomlin for too long for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches.

  9. #9
    Legend

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    Quote Originally Posted by LPMAN View Post
    I get the feeling watching Edmunds he might be on the verge of exploding into a solid to great player like Bud Dupree did. I saw vast improvement in him this season on play recognition, closing the gap distance better & even making tackles for loss on key short yardage runs & bubble screens.
    I think Edmunds is a great athlete and has always been around the ball to make plays. But the gap in his game is still that he doesn’t make plays on the ball.

    He’s solid in just about every aspect of the S position. Good tackler, good in coverage, physical, etc. But I’d rather pay someone that’s going to force some more big plays/turnovers.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing us try to upgrade his position and think a S can be very versatile. I’ve also wondered if he could play as an ILB in the modern game and be more effective. I know he’s a little small, but he probably plays at a bigger weight than Farrior did and I would take a Potsie in our D right now.

  10. #10
    Legend

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Maniac View Post
    Resigning Juju? So resign another wide receiver that can’t beat man coverage? No thanks. We have two in Claypool and DJ.
    I'm so happy you aren't our GM.

    but then if you were, we would have the #1 pick in the draft every year and we could draft our new franchise QB...

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