The Pittsburgh Steelers did the right thing today. Trading away a talented, depth player in Melvin Ingram doesn’t look wise on paper but what else were they going to do? When a player in his position isn’t happy then why keep him around? As Mike Tomlin said, “we want volunteers not hostages.”
Ingram didn’t even travel with the team to Cleveland for the Browns’ game after he went from questionable to doubtful to out in a damn hurry at the end of last week. This was all transpiring while it was made known that he wasn’t happy and wanted out.
Based on everything I’ve gathered, Ingram was never promised anything by the Steelers when he signed with them this summer. The team was desperate for OLB depth, T.J. Watt was in his “soft” holdout and Alex Highsmith was pretty much all that remained. My assumption is that Ingram felt he should have been seeing more snaps, perhaps even more than Highsmith. Guys who are former all-pros never see others as better than them. It’s part of what makes them who they are.
As the early weeks of the season went by Ingram saw the field less and less. As a pending free agent, there’s no doubt he is looking for one last payday and you don’t earn that by riding the pine. Therefore, this became the perfect situation for both player and team. The Steelers don’t want guys who don’t want to be there and Ingram didn’t want to be here. Oh, and the chance to get a draft pick factored in as well.
Taco Charlton was solid Sunday but I’m not ready to say he’ll be a perfect compliment to Watt and Highsmith just yet. I’m also not crazy about sending Ingram to Kansas City, a team we will play later this year and a team we may well be fighting against for a postseason spot. But… with several of our late round picks already traded away the chance to grab a sixth was too good to pass up especially since no one else was offering anything.
I saw some suggest this was a bad move that weakens the Steelers’ defense. “Force him to stay and he’ll fall in line” was one quote I saw. Well, what if he doesn’t? Then you have a royal pain in the ass that you end up cutting and you get nothing in return.
Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin were more than comfortable with this decision and it was absolutely the right one regardless of what Ingram does in Kansas City.