Good Monday to you Steelers fans.
Later this Spring the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to decide whether or not to grant the fifth-year option to Najee Harris. The 2021 first round draft pick has rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons but has also struggled to really find the consistency expected of a first rounder. His option, should they pick it up, would be $6.7 million guaranteed. There is the possibility that they could re-do his contract which would extend it and likely lower his cap hit but at the same time, the $6.7 million isn’t terrible. I predicted in my annual “offseason predictions” article that Harris would get the extension and there’s been nothing so far in the offseason to change my thinking. One thing to keep an eye on is Jaylen Warren. He will be a free agent after the 2024 season. Assuming he puts up similar or better numbers than this past season he will no doubt want more than the current $989k he’ll make in 2024. As always, the running back situation is again something to keep an eye on.
If John Harbaugh slept last night I would be very surprised. Everything he could have hoped for was there for his Ravens. An AFC North title. His quarterback is likely to be the MVP again. His team was brilliant against the best competition this season smoking teams like the 49ers, Lions and Dolphins on their way to home-field advantage. It was the first conference title game held in Baltimore in more than 50 years. But then Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator forgot his team was really good at running the ball. It didn’t help that his team seemed to implode too with personal fouls and unsportsmanlike penalties. And thanks to all of this, we get to endure another two weeks of Taylor Swift. Thanks a lot John.
Well? We’re Waiting…
It would appear that Team President Art Rooney II is waiting for the lull between the conference title games and the Super Bowl or until after the Super Bowl altogether to share his comments on the past season. It’s not that we expect him to say anything earth-shattering because he rarely does, it’s just that his annual comments are usually the catalyst for the offseason parade to begin. I’m impatient by nature so let’s go Art!!
Another Reason to Be Grateful
Many of you saw the Detroit Lions blow a 17-point halftime lead in losing to the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFC Title Game last night. Obviously, Lions’ fans, like Cleveland Browns’ fans, are still trying to get to that first Super Bowl and it’s moments like these that make me grateful for being a Steelers’ fan. We all know how hard it is to get to a Super Bowl, let alone win one, so my words of advice for Lions’ fans today are these. Do not under any circumstances “expect” to be right back in this position next year. Hope for it, but don’t expect it. Your team will not sneak up on anyone any longer. You have to play the division winners in your conference and everyone will be gunning for you. As I said, I remain extremely grateful to be a Steelers’ fan. We know great success but like Lions’ fans this morning, we also know the pain.
The Draft Talk is Here!
Today begins the week of the Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Alabama. Expect to see Mike Tomlin, Omar Khan, Andy Weidl among others from the Steelers down there evaluating the talent. This is the first year that juniors are allowed to be there which deepens the pool a bit in my opinion. As of right now, this looks to be a draft heavy on tackle prospects and is solid on centers, both of which the Steelers need. It’s going to be another fun-filled time leading up to the draft in Detroit.
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