Good Thursday to you Steelers’ Fans!
To say it was a down year for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense would be a bit of an understatement. They scored 30 points total in their final three games and lost all three to once again be spectators rather than participants in the postseason. While many have focused on the down year of JuJu Smith-Schuster, the same can be said for tight end Vance McDonald. Not only did he struggle to remain healthy but he also saw his receptions drop from 50 in 2018 to 38 this past season. Go ahead and point to the fact that he was relying on second and third-string quarterbacks to get him the ball because that’s absolutely a fair excuse. Perhaps more alarming was his drop in receiving yards which went from over 600 to just 273. In other words, no one missed Ben Roethlisberger more than he did. But now to the question of what to do with McDonald. Can he be a reliable, starting tight end? If not, who becomes the starter? Nick Vannett is set to become a free agent and he’s not going to play for peanuts. McDonald’s current contract (which was given to him by the Niners) is very friendly. As of this writing he is the 14th highest paid tight end in football according to spotrac.com. Both of his final years (20 and 21) are club options which is a unique thing that the Steelers wouldn’t have done. The point however is this; you can release McDonald and try to re-sign Vannett, find another free agent or hope a drafted rookie is your starter or you keep McDonald for what amounts to be a pretty fair deal. Look at it this way, McDonald will rank just two spots higher in terms of yearly salary than former Steeler and now Lion Jesse James. I’ll take McDonald every day and twice on Sundays over James. Wouldn’t you?
Ian, Ben and I recorded the SCB Steelers Podcast presented by 26shirts.com/Pittsburgh last night. We wrapped up the season by lamenting the awful showing in Baltimore and then focused on the salary cap and what players may have played their final days in the Black and Gold. Please give it a listen and we love reviews and comments.
Tweet of the Day… Terrific stuff from former Steelers.
Y’all couldn’t imagine how hard me and my big bro be laughing! He would kill me if he knew I posted this, but dude really is like blood to me! I thank god for a big bro like Big Hamp! One of the realest people I ever met! #BigBro #98 #HereWeGo #BigLaughs pic.twitter.com/yOuOQsGN9o
— Nate Washington (@nwash85) January 8, 2020
Former Michigan State Head Coach George Perles died this week. He was largely known for re-building the Spartans into a solid Big Ten program and won a Rose Bowl with them in 1987. Many people forget though that Perles was also on the staff of one Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh. Perles helped create what would become known as the ‘Steel Curtain.’ He was 85.
A Final Thought on the Minkah Trade
I have no problem telling you that I was initially skeptical of Kevin Colbert’s decision to trade a first round draft pick to Miami for Minkah Fitzpatrick. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, I was just concerned because A. There weren’t a lot of positive things coming out about Fitzpatrick and B. He was an Alabama player and if you look at our history we aren’t big on drafting Nick Saban’s guys in the first round. That’s essentially what this was too. For those today who claim that the trade “wasn’t worth it,” I can without hesitation tell you “you’re wrong.” The chances that you were going to get the type of impact and play from a rookie that we ultimately got from Fitzpatrick were slim and none. This trade was a no-brainer so do not lament the fact we currently don’t have a first round pick because we do. His name is Minkah.
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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