It’s once again time for me to think outside the box and some of you will think I’m so far out that I can’t even see the box anymore. Lawrence Timmons is arguably the Steelers best and most consistent player on defense.
So why in the wide world of sports would I suggest the Steelers trade him? Well, let’s examine shall we?
Timmons’ cap hit in 2015 will be the second-largest on the roster behind only Ben Roethlisberger. According to overthecap.com, Timmons’ cap number is $12,566,250. Keep in mind that Roethlisberger’s contract situation is still pending but this is where things sit for today.
Timmons will be 29 years old in May and his current cap number makes him the third-highest paid inside backer in pro football. He trails only Patrick Willis and Jerod Mayo. Is he the third best ILB in the NFL?
The first question you might have is who would be interested in him? This may come as no surprise at all but I can see the Arizona Cardinals being intrigued. Larry Foote is not getting any younger and Timmons could be an upgrade.
Another reason the Steelers may want to move Timmons is that they have a very crowded corps of linebackers on the inside. Ryan Shazier enters his second year after a first year riddled with injuries. He’s also one of the top 30 highest-paid inside backers which means the team needs him on the field.
Both Vince Williams and Sean Spence made significant strides in 2014 and will be battling for playing time as well.
Are any of those three better than Lawrence Timmons? No, not right now they aren’t but this would be a decision impacted by money now, money in the future and a fresh approach by new defensive coordinator Keith Butler.
Let me also be honest about something regarding Timmons’ play. While he is fantastic against the run, his ability to cover backs and tight ends is not good. If you’ve seen him trailing a receiver across the middle of the field once, you’ve seen it many times.
As he gets older, that ability isn’t likely to get any better.
Timmons has been a model Steeler. He does everything fans expect of him on and off the field and there’s no question he’d be missed by the organization.
This is a business however and the main goal is winning and you do what you have to do to accomplish that. Perhaps I’m way off base here but I don’t think so in the grand scheme of things. You have to be wiser with money than the Steelers have been in recent years; especially with veterans.
Timmons could be the first casualty of a new way of doing things.