All signs point to something significant happening in Pittsburgh. Kevin Colbert has been very busy carving out a sizable chunk of salary cap space over the last week. Could we be looking at a big Steelers trade sometime soon? One name to keep an eye on is Patriots corner back Stephon Gilmore. Rumors of Gilmore being shopped go all the way back to last season’s trade deadline. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2935098-nfl-trade-rumors-stephon-gilmore-zach-ertz-high-end-names-linked-to-talks
The Steelers now have a giant sized hole at corner after releasing veteran Steven Nelson. They could of course slide Cam Sutton to the outside to replace Nelson, but that would only open up a new hole at slot corner. It is much more likely that Colbert brings in someone from the outside to play along side Joe Haden in the Steelers secondary.
There are still a few names out there on the free agent market. Players like A J Bouye, and Richard Sherman are still looking for work. But if we are to believe what the Steelers brass has told us all along that they are doing their best to build a championship team, then those names don’t exactly move the needle.
What would move the needle is a bold Steelers trade like perhaps, acquiring Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore has been one of the top corners in the league over the past few seasons. He won Defensive Player of the Year just two seasons ago in New England. Gilmore is coming off a sub-par 2020 where he missed five games due to injury. He suffered a partially torn quad in a week 15 game against Miami Dolphins which caused him to miss the rest of the season. Gilmore has had surgery to repair the quad, and is not expected to miss any off-season work.
All signs point to the Patriots preparing to move on from Gilmore. They signed free agent Jalen Mills early on in the tampering period, and have put a second round tender on J C Jackson. Using that high of a tender almost guarantees Jackson will be back with the team in 2021. New England could also save over $7 million in cap space by trading their All-Pro corner.
There are some downsides to trading for Stephon Gilmore. He will turn 31 in September, which is on the old side for NFL corners. Also as we have mentioned earlier, he is coming off a leg injury in 2020. Those factors may work in the Steelers favor however. Ordinarily trading for a corner with the pedigree of Stephon Gilmore would cost a team it’s first round pick. In this case though, the Steelers could probably get this done for as little as a third or fourth round pick given the age and injury concerns with this player.
Kevin Colbert has made some terrific trades in his time with the Steelers. Acquiring Stephon Gilmore for a day three pick would certainly be among the best trades of the Colbert era. Top five Kevin Colbert trades for the Pittsburgh Steelers
If the Steelers indeed are serious about a Super Bowl run in 2020, then this is the type of move that will be necessary. The defense has taken some major hits as of late in free agency. Adding Stephon Gilmore is exactly the type of trade that puts the Steelers back in the mix for the AFC title.