Wednesday, June 16
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Looking at pre-deadline trade rumors surrounding the Steelers – Behind the Steel Curtain

The NFL trade deadline is rapidly approaching (November 3rd), and with contending teams scrambling to add one last piece to its roster some moves will be made. Historically the Steelers aren’t a team that partakes in season player movement. However, with some injuries and subpar performances the Steelers might be in-play on a couple moves. Today I’ve compiled a list of rumored players the Steelers may be interested from NFL ‘insiders’. We’ll give the rumor a validity grade, and what it might take to make the move work. Let’s get into it!

Punters

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers

Pat McAfee retired from football back in 2016. Despite a relatively short tenure in the NFL McAfee was need the NFL’s All-Decade Punter for the 10’s. Still just 33 years, the Pittsburgh area native has heard his name swirl around comeback rumors on a number of occasions. Most notably to be the Bears kicker in 2018, and to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this offseason. While a comeback has never materialized into a contract, perhaps the lore of playing for your hometown team, with a chance to win a Super Bowl might just be enticing enough.

Rumor validity: 2/10
Mark Madden isn’t the most reliable source, however the Steelers have been rumored to be on the look out for another punter. Using the returning Jordan Berry as a stop gap player. Also worth noting that about two minutes after the Steelers announced the release of Dustin Colquitt, McAfee posted a video of himself booming punts in his back yard.

On the flip side, McAfee is enjoying his life as a highly successful podcaster, WWE wrestler, college gameday analyst, and much more. The Steelers might have to let Pat do some of these things if they were to coax him out of retirement.


Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs

Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The other Punter with his name tied to the Steelers, is one Marquette King. This has been a fan led rumor, as King has been an extremely popular name amongst Steelers twitter/reddit followers.

Validity of rumor: 5/10
It takes two to tango in the NFL, and Marquette King has more than responded from the love sent his way by Steelers nation. As opposed to Pat McAfee, King desperately wants back into the NFL, and is interested in joining the black and gold.


Linebackers

Arizona Cardinals v New York Jets

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Robert Spillane has dazzled his short time as the starting linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has put forward an effort worthy of being this teams starter for the rest of the year. That being said when Spillane was injured against the Tennessee Titans, I held my breath. This team cannot afford another injury to this position. They don’t need to trade for anyone to be an every down starter either. Enter Avery Williamson, who fits perfectly in just about every way.

Validity of rumor: 7/0
This move almost makes too much sense. To the point where it’s almost hard to understand why it hasn’t been made yet. If the Steelers are to make any sort of splash this is the transaction they have to complete. If the Steelers were to acquire Williamson this week he would only have a $1,718,750 cap hit, plus his deal will expire at the end of the season (perfect for a returning Devin Bush), and he’s been one of the only bright spots of the Jets defense. Basically everyone will be on the block for the Jets, and the Steelers might be able to scoop Williamson for the tune of a seventh round draft pick.


Tennessee Titans v Los Angeles Chargers

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Denzel Perryman is a very similar option to Avery Williamson. The two main differences are that Perryman will have an even smaller remaining cap hit, but is on a team less likely to give away its players in a fire sale.

Validity to the rumor: 3/10
While everything else lines up, I just can’t see the Chargers move Perryman within the AFC for nothing. Los Anglos has a good young team and will still have some value in a player like Perryman. That being said if they can’t make something work for Williamson, this should be the next phone call they make.


Other rumors

The following players have no credible ties but have had their names thrown out their with the Steelers as something ‘football people’ want to see have happen. But basically certainly won’t happen.

J.J. Watt – The narrative of having all three Watt brothers in Pittsburgh is a fun one to discuss. However the feasibility of such a move doesn’t make any sense. The Steelers already have one of the best front fours in football, and the unit already commands a pretty penny. If the Texans are to move on from the former three time defensive player of the year, I look more at a team like Seattle, however they have to draft capital. The eldest Watt brother appears destined to suffer through another dreadful season in Houston.

Dwayne Haskins – This just won’t die. First ESPN’s Bill Barwell crafted up this idea in an article, then Andrew Fillipponi shares the idea on his platforms, and finally outlets like total pr sports claim this trade is one of the no brainers of the trade deadline. Sure Haskins might be on the block, but the Steelers will not add anyone to their quarterback room. Nor will they overpay on a player like Haskins.


These are all the names that are currently being thrown in the Steelers direction. Whether any of them stick, nobody knows… Yet! For more rumors, updates, and coverage stay tuned to BTSC. Your one stop shop for all things Pittsburgh Steelers.

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