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Housekeeping.... you want towel?

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If the Steelers aren't going to keep four quarterbacks then the move would be to get something for Landry Jones sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the more substitutes are available and Landry becomes worth nothing. The dilemma is the backup quarterback position. When I look at this I'm looking at Landry Jones as not a quarterback of the future, a $2.2m cap hit, and he has more value in a trade than Josh Dobbs. Dobbs has potential and could get better this year even if it is just a marginal improvement, is also cheaper, and is worth nothing in a trade. 

The question becomes can Rudolph come in and be the backup quarterback. I think he is better than Landry Jones today. If you want to wait and see that he can actually do this you'll wait too long and other backup QB needy teams will just scoop up someone else and you get nothing for Landry. The writing is on the wall for Landry Jones and I think Rudolph is more than capable of being Ben's backup in year one. In terms of asset management, and you aren't keeping four quarterbacks, I'd like to see a Bill Belichick type deal with Landry Jones.

The Panthers are one of the Super Bowl contending teams that don't have a backup quarterback so I think he could be their new Derek Anderson. 

PIT trades Landry Jones + 2019 5th for CAR 2019 4th



Then I'm looking at the board of players that aren't going to have their 5th year option exercised that already have a plethora of players at the position. I would be shocked if the Jacksonville Jaguars picked up the $14m 5th year option on Dante Fowler. He's a former #3 overall pick that is finally starting to become the player the Jags drafted. The problem is he got Wally Pipped and Yannick Ngakoue surpassed him when he was injured and has become a Pro Bowl player. Fowler is finally healthy coming off an ACL in 2015 causing him to miss the whole season. He's still young at 23 years old. He had 8 sacks last year in a backup role where he only played 44.23% of the defensive snaps. Given a starting role, he would lead our team in sacks. 

When I think of Dante Fowler I think of Harold Landry out of Boston College. He has great dip and speed but also has the added benefit of being a lot stronger at the point of attack. When the Jags decline Fowler's 5th year option in the coming days I'd make the call about the availability of him via trade. Fowler solves a lot of our problems at the OLB position. He plugs in immediately in the sub-package and gives us a dynamic pass rush option off the edge that can get to the quarterback on every play. Probably looking at giving him a 6 years, $65m contract.

PIT trades 2019 CAR 4th and conditional 2020 PIT 2nd to JAX for Dante Fowler



Khalil Mack also has a contract problem and the Raiders addressed their defensive line extensively via the draft with the acquisitions of PJ Hall NT, Mo Hurst DT, and Arden Key DE. The reasons the Raiders acquired Martavis Bryant is the same reasons I could see them having interest in Le'Veon Bell. His talent is undeniable and you can overlook some of the off-the-field because you know he can play. He fills a need. Carr regressed last year without a running game where Marshawn Lynch is not a scheme fit in a spread scheme. He's better in a power run scheme or one cut scheme. Bell gives them a running game and a receiver out of the backfield and is a perfect fit in that offense. If they are having problems with Mack contract negotiations, I would be more than happy to pay him the money Bell wants because I value a pass rusher over a running back. I can replace a running back with a few guys like Belichick and I feel comfortable with Conner, Samuels, Ridley, even Jarvion Franklin all combining to replace Le'Veon Bell. If there was still some uncertainty, DeMarco Murray can easily run behind our offensive line. Given the fact the Raiders addressed defensive line I think they would be willing to go from Mack to Dupree if they also get Le'Veon Bell in the process to help Derek Carr and put up more points on the board. Going 5 years, $85m with $65m guarantees on Khalil Mack.

PIT trades Le'Veon Bell and Bud Dupree to OAK for Khalil Mack


What I'd like to do is improve the pass rush in base and sub-package situations. Mack-Heyward-Tuitt-Fowler is arguably the best front four defensive line in the league. Probably looking at switching the base to a 4-3 with Watt as the SAM and Bostic as the MIKE. TJ Watt would be better as a pass rusher in space playing 5 yards off the ball and could be used in a bracket (with Edmunds) to cover tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski. Completely eliminating Rob Growkowski from the game. Watt doesn't have the explosion-strength to get past the tackle in short spaces. But what he does have is good agility, intelligence, and length to rush from 5 yards off the ball and beat the tackle by building up speed, setting him up, and using a variety of pass rush moves. Watt can play ILB or as another OLB in sub-package situations. Combined with the other players we brought in such as Burnett, Allen, and Edmunds we could have a variety of different looks that we could disguise what the defense is doing on a given play. And when there's not a unique defensive look, the front four can get to the quarterback on every play.


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