I’m back. Feeling fresh and rejuvenated after a two week European vacation. The minute I stepped off the plane though……BAM! The franchise quarterback of my beloved football team is out for the season. Just when I’ve come to terms with a lost season, and a potentially very high first round pick…..BAM! The general manager of my beloved team has traded that potential top ten pick away. No franchise quarterback on the way in next year’s draft. No game changing edge rusher. No elite wide receiver, but hey we got a ……..slot corner/free safety?? Don’t get me wrong, I like Minkah Fitzpatrick the player. He is already a very good player in this league, and still only twenty two. But there are many reasons why this is a terrible trade for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here are the top five:
1. Never, ever trade your first round pick when you’ve lost your starting QB:
Does Kevin Colbert realize he is one play away from Devlin Hodges being the starting quarterback for his football team?? Does he realize that this team is 0-2 WITH Ben Roethlisberger as the starting quarterback?? At this point to make the playoffs the Steelers would have to go a minimum of 10-4 the rest of the way. Is that a likely scenario for a backup quarterback and a struggling defense? Of course it isn’t! For a franchise which is risk-adverse, they certainly took a giant risk with this trade.
2. They have now essentially given the keys to the season to Keith Butler:
How many times have we heard it. This defense is just a player away. They just need an edge rusher and they will be good. All they need is a corner, that will push them over the top. This franchise has drafted a defensive player in the first round for seven years running. They have six first rounders starting for them before adding Minkah Fitzpatrick to the mix. Maybe, just maybe talent isn’t the issue. Leaving all hope that Keith Butler will now suddenly figure it all out is fool’s gold.
3. We should be concerned about a player asking to be traded in year two:
I get it. The Miami Dolphins are a dumpster fire. The question is why does this matter to a player in his second year in the league? Apparently Minkah Fitzpatrick does not like the way he is being used this season. I mean he is playing for a head coach in Brian Flores who won the Super Bowl last year as defensive coordinator. He may know a thing or two about defense after spending years with the greatest defensive mind in the last twenty years in Bill Belichick.
4. Is safety a position of need, or even a position of value?
Ever notice that all the big names at the end of free agency are safeties? That’s because NFL general managers don’t value safeties as much as other positions. Now add this to the fact that the Steelers already have two safeties who they have invested high draft picks on already. Pile that onto that the team already having not one, but two slot corners in Mike Hilton and Cam Sutton. So there isn’t an immediate need, and the position isn’t as valuable as others. Tell me why they traded a such a valuable asset for him again?
5. No first round pick in 2020, with lots of needs
Even if you go on the premise that the Steelers will not draft a quarterback in 2020, there will still be many needs for this team going into that draft. Wide receiver, tight end, edge rusher are positions that will top that list heading into next season. Even the deepest position at offensive line could use some attention in the draft. The line is talented, but aging quickly. I haven’t even mentioned that it is very likely Javon Hargrave will be leaving as a free agent next season. Add defensive line to the list. With no first round pick to help fill these needs, the Steelers could end up leaving themselves extremely weak at a key position.