The Pittsburgh Steelers follow a usual plan in the offseason: get who they need and build through the draft. This has led the Steelers to great success including six super bowls and over 20 Hall of Fame players. In this era of the salary cap and free agency, is it time for the Steelers to rethink their normal offseason way of business?
This past season the Steelers had their worst season under head coach Mike Tomlin with an 8-8 record. Even after the disappointing season, the Steelers went about the offseason in their usual ways. They didn’t go out after the big free agents and actually lost some talent due to the fact that the Steelers do not like to pay certain players. The players that the Steelers lost this offseason, though, were cancers in the locker room.
Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall’s heads were getting too big for the Steelers and the no-nonsense way in which the Steelers run their franchise showed this offseason when they did not resign the two players. The Steelers also released running back Chris Rainey and defensive tackle Alameda Ta’Amu because of their troubles with the law. The Steelers may have lost some talent but it has been for the greater good; getting rid of potential locker room issues and keeping the appearance of the franchise clean is always a good thing and something that the Steelers, for the most part, do very well.
The Steelers also had a good draft. They followed suit on what they usually do, drafting the best players available while filling their needs. Their top two picks, Jarvis Jones and Le’Veon Bell, will be able to step in immediately and have success. They also drafted quarterback Landry Jones who could eventually replace Big Ben Roethlisberger. The players that the Steelers drafted have the ability to step in and play. With that in mind and also the fact that the Steelers are one of the best teams at developing young players in the league, it is a good sign for an aging Steelers team.
In this salary cap and free agent heavy NFL the Steeler way may seem outdated, but it has led this franchise to a lot of success and I don’t believe that it is time for the Steelers to change their ways just yet. With that said, growing pains will be felt this season.