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This is obviously an important one. So what would you do?
While we're in some cap pain, it's still manageable for a good FO.
I'm also curious about Dupree, with the injury, but know he's still likely gone.
If we win it all, by the way, then I think Ben retires.

Who would you cut?

Who would you let leave?

Who would you try and resign?

Who would you extend for cap relief?

And then lastly, what does that leave you needing for the draft?

UFAs
LBS
B.Dupree
A.Williamson
J.Elliot
O.Adeniyi
R.Spillane
C.Marsh

DBS
C.Sutton
M.Hilton
J.Dangerfield
S.Davis
M.Allen

DL
T.Alualu
C.Wormley

QB
J.Dobbs

OL
A.Villanueva
M.Feiler
Z.Banner
J.Hawkins
J.Hassenauer
D.Isadora

WRS
J.Schuster
R.McCloud

TES
V.McDonald (Team Option)

RBS
J.Conner
T.Edmunds

P
J.Berry

 

Edited by mwalker
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Lots to do in the offseason, and with a reduced cap, it will be a rough offseason for us and many others.  I don't like the OL, so trading pouncey for finney and a draft pick would be start to free up room. 

 

JJSS will get his nice deal on another team if we like it or not, he's gone.  

Bens deal is taking up some cap space, see how this season ends. 

Many of  these players will be gone, not sure what tomato of the offseason.  Many teams will have major overhauls. I don't know how teams will be able to retain most of their roster.  Next year there could be several new teams in the playoffs as a result, chaos in the offseason for GM's . 

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Going to be maybe the most impactful offseason ever around the league. I think you’ll see more vets cut/released than ever before as teams struggle with a salary cap that didn’t do what they were expecting. Teams that have money under the cap are going to have a buffet to choose from. Think of a team like Jacksonville, they have a projected $77 million to spend in free agency plus the first pick. Normally free agents aren’t going to move you from league worst to league best, but I really think some top guys are going to be out there this year. Guys like JJ Watt are going to get cut because of a 17.5 million cap hit versus $0  if he’s cut. Maybe JJ takes a vet minimum deal with incentives to come play with his brothers 😂

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I'm hoping Ben makes a real sacrifice for this team if he doesn't retire.
He has the ability to really help us for years if he's willing to be humble
about where he is. I think JuJu is gone, of course. Conner too.
I think there are some easy cuts, but once we resign Watt, redo the deals of DeCastro, Ben
and a couple others, we'll be able to maybe resign Feiler and either Hilton or Sutton.
I think we can resign Alualu for a decent price, possibly one year.

I'm curious what happens at LB, especially Dupree with the injury.
 

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13 hours ago, mwalker said:

This is obviously an important one. So what would you do?

You are going to have to convert some salaries to bonuses, and extend or restructure deals.
While we're in some cap pain, it's still manageable for a good FO.

So far fortunate that Omar Kahn has not been signed by the Texans or anyone else yet. Hopefully he will get the shot as Colbert's replacement in a year or so a la Keith Butler with **** LeBeau.

I'm also curious about Dupree, with the injury, but know he's still likely gone.

I keep hoping in my heart of hearts that he stays at least for another year, but with Highsmith's development, he will most likely sign for greener ($$$) pastures.
If we win it all, by the way, then I think Ben retires.
I don't. He said Super Bowls (plural). He plays two or three more years.
Who would you cut?
Toughest cut is Big Al at LT. He is aging and started out strong, but tailed off near the end. Perhaps due to changes in having to play three games in 12 days or whatever. I am gambling with Chucks and hoping to draft a Marvel Smith type. 

Who would you let leave?

Who would you try and resign?

Bud, Connor and definitely Ju Ju if the prices are right. Bud is more of a luxury pick, but it is hard to see a guy that you invested so much on ride off into the sunset and give the pay-off to another team (although they are greatly paying for that $$$). I keep hearing that Ju Ju is not a WR1. He is not De' Andre' Hopkins but he is the most consistent weapon at WR. Even though as someone said Ben throws 75 passes a game to Dionte' Johnson.  ideally Connor becomes a RB2 for me. He would also be a pretty darn good third down back as he has decent hands and can power through some arm tackles from DB's. What has happened with Bell, Gurley and Zeke has caused the RB to go down and not up. I still love the bell cow type of back, but I think that Connor would remain healthier and have a greater impact to the offense being a RB2. Just my opinion.

Who would you extend for cap relief?

Obvious choices of extensions or salary conversions would be Ben, Cam, Tuitt off the top of my head. Perhaps doing something with Pouncey and DeCastro as I think we are going to have both as long as Ben is at QB. 

And then lastly, what does that leave you needing for the draft?

Free Agent Signings/Draft needs: RB1, LT, IOL,CB, Safety, blocking TE, Punter, OLB

UFAs
LBS
B.Dupree - - Let him test the market, but if he can be kept for a year on a decent salary, I would. I love Bud, but think he will get a deal elsewhere.
A.Williamson - - Would like to keep him, but he is making veteran money. Tough cut for me as he could be the heir apparent to VW. Can't afford to keep both.
J.Elliot - - No. Upgrade. Let him go.
O.Adeniyi - - I think he tries to latch on elsewhere. He never turned the corner here.  Reminds me of a poor man's James Harrison. 
R.Spillane - - Keeper. Nothing but upside and would be great to pair with a healthy Bush going forward.
C.Marsh - - The kind of veteran insurance that would be good if Bud leaves. He is someone who could relieve Highsmith. Keeper if Bud goes.

DBS
C.Sutton - - Priority #1 among the DB's. Yes. Haden's successor.
M.Hilton - -Would love to keep, but someone else is going to pay him more. Sad because he fits our scheme and may not have the same success elsewhere. 
J.Dangerfield - - Good on special teams, but time to upgrade. No
S.Davis - - Yes! But only if the money is right. I keep Davis. He's smart, knows our defense and could be an asset. Surprised he wasn't used more in 2020.
M.Allen - - Upgrade here

DL
T.Alualu - - Yes. He earned it and plays the role well.
C.Wormley - - Yes, decent veteran that shouldn't cost much. He should be better in 2021.

QB
J.Dobbs - - Not a high priority, but if the money is right yes. I would personally prefer to sign a former veteran starter as back-up. They probably won't because Mason had a decent game versus the Browns.

OL
A.Villanueva - - Play declining and salary going up. Love the guy and player, but tough business decision to let him go. A gamble because makes the position uncertain.
M.Feiler - - Choose between he or Banner. If so, move big Matt back to RT and Dotson to LG. Team player kinda got screwed playing out of position. I never liked moving him to OG. He was the teams best RT in my opinion, but they wanted to do something with Banner and Chuks.
Z.Banner - - I think he comes back healthy and would help the rushing offense instantly. I am a Feiler guy, but business wise, this may be the better and more cost effective signing.  
J.Hawkins - - Never been a fan. Scary part is if I let Big Al go, I am gambling on Chuks, the draft or signing someone off the street. I don't see him as the answer.
J.Hassenauer - - No. Need to draft a replacement or sign a veteran C who can play OG a la Wiz this year (except keep him).
D.Isadora - - Veteran, but would he be just camp fodder or could he be the next Banner? 

WRS
J.Schuster - - I think the team resigns him. He has upside and is high character. You need some stability. He provides it.
R.McCloud - - Yes. He is frustrating at times, but is fast and you hope he finally gets that half step, missed block, or extra move to go to the house. PR/KOR alone warrent keeping him.

TES
V.McDonald (Team Option) - - Love him, but no. Kevin Radar may have move up after his blocking and ST against the Browns. Little cap space big veteran salary, logical cut. I hope he gets a SB ring here as a nice parting gift.

RBS
J.Conner - - Connor is a RB2 in my book. I think he will want RB1 money, not sure who is going to pay him that. ideally, I would like to resign him to be the RB2. I doubt the Steelers will though. Snell, Samuels, and McFarland will compete for RB2. They need to upgrade here.
T.Edmunds - - Great kid, but I don't see him being more than a PS or ST player at best. No. Upgrade and get a RB1.

P
J.Berry - - Quietly a decent year, but no. Take him and STC Danny Smith away! Need upgrades in both areas.

 

 

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As always with this, I dont think the situation is actually as dire as it usually seems. But I have changed my stance from wanting to do everything to just simply retain our top young talent to retaining the defense. Im not sure why JuJu would want to be here to be Ryan Switzer and I am not sure why we would pay $16M per for him to be Ryan Switzer. But I think its just as big a mistake to let a 23 year old talent walk out the door as it is to use that talent improperly. So, rock and a hard place. 

Theres a lot of cash to move around, but the two biggest pieces are Ben and Pouncey. I am not going to speculate what they will choose to do, but I do believe that they WILL do SOMETHING. Cut, retire, extend, pay cut....I dont know, but I do not expect their numbers to stay the same. For this exercise, I have Ben and Pouncey back, but getting Ben back to the $30M number and Pouncey to sub-$10M would be ideal (at least $15M in savings) - Extend or paycut, dont care, my clearing $15M is a pretty bare minimum for them. 

Restructuring: Cam, Tuitt, and Boswell. No reason to believe those guys are not on the team for the next 4-5 year. (around $12M in savings)

Extend: Decastro, V. Williams, Nelson (about $14M in savings)

Cut: Ebron ($6M savings)

But this leaves me one huge question: Joe Haden. I don't know which way to go with Joe yet, either extension or potentially just outright cut. But my goal is officially to retain the defense, so that's what I wanna do, and Im going leave him alone for now and let him play out his 1 year.

Now, those numbers add up to $47M , but i'm just gonna call it $40 since the site I usually use isn't working and I had to ball park. $20M in spending money was also my goal - being about $20M over the cap, the estimated moves net us that $20 and $20 for spending. Im praying the rumors I saw before about $198M are true, but wont go there now. So, where do I spend it:

Re-Sign: Sutton, Hilton, Banner, Alualu. I think Sutton and Hilton probably go around the $8-10M range per year. Sutton may go a little higher on the open market, but I'm not too sure. That would give them both a very, verrrry manageable first year hit. Id love Banner back on a Chickillo styled 2 year deal, though he might push for 1 (2 year, $8M total, but $2M in year 1. Enough incentive to sign for 2, but very cuttable/extendable). At 33/34 Alualu isnt breaking the bank and I think he fits in really well here. 

So, with those signing, the defense is back with the only real change being Dupree for Highsmith, which I think we are all perfectly fine with. But all our DBs are back. Our pass rushers are here long term, as is our DL and our ILB. Tinker here, but start focusing on the offense in the draft/low level FA's for the next 2 years. 

For my offensive focus, if Villy wants to come back at a low rate, sure. But if they believe Chuks can play LT I just keep my Chuks-Dodson-Pouncey-Decastro-Banner line and draft two tackles in the next 2 drafts. 

Then I go out and give all the money we still have left to Aaron Jones (he said, very, very sarcastically, but with a tear in his eye). There are an absolute ton of RB's both in the draft and in FA I think are very worthwhile going after. Feels like a good double up year to me, depending on how they really feel about Snell and McFarland. But my stop gap starter list starts with Jamaal Williams or bounce back candidates Phillip Lindsay and Marlon Mack. With the pandemic hitting the salary cap, I think its a good year to be in the RB market, but the best choice is probably to hit the 5th year option on a bottom of the first round RB, who also has potential to be the only RB taken in that round -- so you have your pick of the liter. 

Gimme a buy low WR of some sort. John Ross actually really interest me as a number 5/field stretcher. I do NOT want to have to draft a WR and a RB in the same draft again. Soooooooo much waste. Even just rolling DJ, Claypool, Washington, Ray-Ray, and Cain makes more sense to me than drafting another one. 

Im not sure what do do about TE. I think we need to start over at the position, but I really hate going back to 0. I can see Vance coming back on, just a brand new type of contract (why he wasnt mentioned in the cut). But getting Vance around his Cap Hit number ($2.7M) can get us an extra $5M in clearance. I can see Rader being on roster (I honestly thought he looked really good). I almost threw up looking at the FA TE list...so, punt? This is a draft focus though, so Vance, Rader, and Gentry headed in...yeah, exciting stuff. 

My real dream: Trading a 3rd and a future pick swap for Gardner Minshew. His cap hit in 2021 is under a Mil, and he would be a high end backup/emergency plan to Ben's last year and his successor the following. 

Draft Focus: OT, C, TE, RB, depth at ILB, S, DE. 

Numbers are super estimates, but theres also more to be had if needed. Derek Watt could net about $2M on a post-june cut (but you would have to sign a new FB), Williams and Haden can be cut since they would have replacements, Boswell for a better priced guy (maybe for Matthew Wright and his real life try out right now). 

But that's my goal: Retain the top 3 defense, rebuild the offense. If we actually got Minshew, throw all your resources at the OL and offense.

 

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I’m kinda along the lines of @Dcash4...

-Something with Ben(roster bonus of $15 mill in early March$

-restructures ofHeyward and maybe Tuitt

-Figure out if you’re extending Nelson and/or cutting Haden

-Retain 1 of Hilton/Sutton 

-Resign cheap depth of Davis at S and Alalu at 2 year deal

-One of the TEs will be gone at $8 mill cap hits for each...I’m guessing Vance especially if they lose JuJu.

-Vince Williams and/or Haden are possible surprise cuts.

-Villy was great til last month...see what he does ROS.

-I do disagree with throwing picks at Minshew...rather go older vet route in Dalton or Fitzpatrick if they replace Ben.

Edited by AFF
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1 hour ago, AFF said:

I do disagree with throwing picks at Minshew...rather go older vet route in Dalton or Fitzpatrick if they replace Ben.

I don't think it would take a 3rd to get Minshew either. I figure a 5th would get it done. 

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2 hours ago, AFF said:

-I do disagree with throwing picks at Minshew...rather go older vet route in Dalton or Fitzpatrick if they replace Ben.

I usually go the Vet route too, when it comes to the idea of Bens successor...but I cannot pass up the opportunity to have Ben's possible replacement for a non-first and get what I believe would be similar production (maybe better than) a Dalton of Fitz. 

Took a completion percentage jump, low career Int%. Build the offense around him and maintain the defense and I think you have a really good future without having to absolutely suck or get overwhelmingly lucky to get your next 10 years at the position. 

1 hour ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I don't think it would take a 3rd to get Minshew either. I figure a 5th would get it done. 

A 5th is wayyyyyyy too low for a starting QB who is only losing his starting job because of one of the best prospects in history of the position. At a 5th, they might as well hold onto him as insurance. Bears traded a 4th for Nick Foles and his contract. Rosen went for a 2nd and a 5th. Minshew has 2 solid years as an NFL starter and 2 more under a rookie deal. That's a valuable asset. 

I really don't know, maybe he would go for a 5th, but I have a feeling that my 3rd and a swap is actually not enough to get it done. 

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4 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

I usually go the Vet route too, when it comes to the idea of Bens successor...but I cannot pass up the opportunity to have Ben's possible replacement for a non-first and get what I believe would be similar production (maybe better than) a Dalton of Fitz. 

Took a completion percentage jump, low career Int%. Build the offense around him and maintain the defense and I think you have a really good future without having to absolutely suck or get overwhelmingly lucky to get your next 10 years at the position. 

A 5th is wayyyyyyy too low for a starting QB who is only losing his starting job because of one of the best prospects in history of the position. At a 5th, they might as well hold onto him as insurance. Bears traded a 4th for Nick Foles and his contract. Rosen went for a 2nd and a 5th. Minshew has 2 solid years as an NFL starter and 2 more under a rookie deal. That's a valuable asset. 

I really don't know, maybe he would go for a 5th, but I have a feeling that my 3rd and a swap is actually not enough to get it done. 

Except Minshew has two years of extremely average tape. Rosen was a 1st rounder, Foles was a SB winner, Minshew is a little, weak armed, late 6th rounder. He's not going to fetch a 3rd. If we have to give up more than a 4th for him, I want no part. This is the age of the QB. They're falling from the trees. It's easier than ever to get them.  

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My thoughts of a vet QB were more inline with if they did get rid of Ben, that saves 19 mill.

Thats enough for a year 1 of a deal for vet QB and the year 1 hit of a long term deal with 1 of Bud/Hilton/Sutton.

If they think they thevdefense can carry the team, and use draft capital on OL/ RB...keep the SB run alive for another year or 2.

Now if you’re going rookie QB, then yes that’s different.

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10 minutes ago, MOSteelers56 said:

This is the age of the QB. They're falling from the trees. It's easier than ever to get them

Who's the quarterback drafted outside of the top 10 in the last three years, (outside of Lamar and the draft/playing questions that surrounded him) that's having fall of a tree success? Ready to ride the Jalen Hurts train?

Only 5 real, non top 10 success stories since 2012 (Jackson 1/32, Watson 1/12, Dak 4/37, Carr 2/4, Russ 3/10 Cousins 4/7). Thats out of 85 QB'S taken within that timeframe, outside of the top 10. Good luck with the 5.8% chance. Maybe you wanna add Bridgewater and Garrapolo types, but we are still below a 10% hit rate. 46 were taken between the 11th pick and the 4th round, so that's a 10.8% chance of landing an impact guy. Even then within the top 10 in that time frame: Darnold, Wentz, Rosen, Daniel Jones, Haskins, Trubiski, Jameis, Mariota, Bortles. There's a lot of misses. Your options are taking less than 10% chance on landing your next guy or trading multiple first+ to move into range to get one of those top talents, who are just as likely to flame out. 

That's why I am pro a mid round pick for a guy with actual NFL tape, and plus NFL tape at that. Minshew actually has some pretty good downfield numbers, in comparison to league average. But he seems to process the game well getting through reads and gets the ball accurately to his receivers. And that's what I want -- dont turn the football over, make the right reads, keep us on schedule. Minshew has done it at an NFL level. Looking at the hit rates at the position, I think that he is well worth a 3rd round. 

I get if you dont like Minshew, but I do not agree with the "Qbs are everywhere" angle. The more I watch of him, the more I think he would be a great fit at a low cost to play with our D. 

21 minutes ago, AFF said:

My thoughts of a vet QB were more inline with if they did get rid of Ben, that saves 19 mill.

Thats enough for a year 1 of a deal for vet QB and the year 1 hit of a long term deal with 1 of Bud/Hilton/Sutton.

If they think they thevdefense can carry the team, and use draft capital on OL/ RB...keep the SB run alive for another year or 2.

I agree with that, but I like Minshew for a 3rd because I still have my 1st, 2nd, and the rest of my picks for the draft and I also get most of that $19M in savings to use on something like a Hilton AND Sutton, while still having year one cash left over. I just think that if Minshew is what I think he would be with us as well as using your resources on OL and keeping the defense together, your not keeping talking about a 2 year SB window --- your talking long term. 

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5 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

I get if you dont like Minshew, but I do not agree with the "Qbs are everywhere" angle. The more I watch of him, the more I think he would be a great fit at a low cost to play with our D. 

There were 18 QBs that threw for more than 3500 yards this year. That doesn't include Brees, Jackson, Burrow, Newton, and Wentz. There are more good QBs in the league than there ever has been. There are potentially 5 starting QBs coming into the league maybe in the 1st round. It's easier than ever to be a QB now. Why give up anything for a guy like Minshew?

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9 hours ago, SteelersFan2333 said:

Going to be maybe the most impactful offseason ever around the league. I think you’ll see more vets cut/released than ever before as teams struggle with a salary cap that didn’t do what they were expecting. Teams that have money under the cap are going to have a buffet to choose from. Think of a team like Jacksonville, they have a projected $77 million to spend in free agency plus the first pick. Normally free agents aren’t going to move you from league worst to league best, but I really think some top guys are going to be out there this year. Guys like JJ Watt are going to get cut because of a 17.5 million cap hit versus $0  if he’s cut. Maybe JJ takes a vet minimum deal with incentives to come play with his brothers 😂

do you really thing the older brother will allow this to happen? xD  

also, who would want to goo to a team with fichner running an offence like this? It could be the reverse too, players might want to leave

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2 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

There are potentially 5 starting QBs coming into the league maybe in the 1st round.

This is said every year. Again, the history says no to that. 

2 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

There were 18 QBs that threw for more than 3500 yards this year. That doesn't include Brees, Jackson, Burrow, Newton, and Wentz.

And it does include guys like Rodgers, Brady, Stafford, Ben, and Ryan - who have all been in the league 10 plus years. The point is that while yes, league wide the position is more capable that is not equal to qbs “growing on trees” coming into the league. 

2 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Why give up anything for a guy like Minshew?

You really don’t get how great of a value a THIRD ROUND pick is for a potential 10+ year of a starting QB? 

If you don’t think Minshew is that guy, that’s fine, but the “I’ll just grab anyone’s else” argument is highly flawed. 

I don’t think he is a top 10 talent kinda guy, but with a stud defense (which we have) and committing resources around him (which we can do) he can absolutely lead a top half/top 10 offense to continue wining games and push into the playoffs. And I’d rather go that route than selecting a bottom 1st quarterback, trading a kings ransom to move up, or praying on a mid-rounder hit to find a QB we hope can be vastly better than where I already know Minshew is. 

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