Rumors started flowing Thursday night that the Steelers had been sniffing around a possible trade for Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson. While there may be a need for an upgrade at corner, it's hard to imagine the Steelers fitting in the nearly $17 million in salary the franchise tag would bring Johnson. That is unless they could shed some existing salary. Say maybe $12 million due a certain running back on the roster. Of course a one for one deal would greatly favor the Rams. Not to mention they already have a pretty good starting back in Todd Gurley.
So could a potential deal be expanded to include both Gurley and Johnson for Bell? It sounds crazy at first, but maybe it's not so far fetched. Both Bell and Johnson will play under the franchise tag this season, and neither is pleased about it. Gurley is coming off a very disappointing 2016 season, which may prompt the Rams to search for an upgrade. They have already been busy adding Sammie Watkins to beef up their offense. The Rams seem determined to give second year quarterback Jared Goff as many weapons as possible to help him succeed. What better way to help a young quarterback then to acquire the best running back in the NFL?
On the Steelers side of things this kind of blockbuster trade also makes sense. It may take an extra draft pick or even a player like Ross Cockrell to complete such a move. Even still, the upgrade on defense alone may be worth it. Trumaine Johnson and Artie Burns would represent the best corner tandem since Rod Woodson and pick any corner. The offense surely would be fine with Gurley replacing Bell. It's almost a no-brainer if they could get the Rams to bite.
In the end, blockbuster deals such as this almost never happen in the NFL. It's a fun trade to think about, and especially one that seems to benefit both sides. While it's extremely unlikely to happen, sometimes the old saying of "where there's smoke there's fire" has some validity.