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Spinning Tires: Steelers 2021 Offseason and Beyond...


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People have a really skewed view of what two possessions mean for a guy who completed 56% of his passes, threw a god awful pick, and has a pocket presence of a 7 on 7 in shorts player. 

Im not here to sell you on Ben (though, I do have a different view then, well, pretty much all of you it seems), but I am here to tell you to sell any and all thoughts of Mason's start against the Covid depleted Browns having any impact on moving on from Ben. If anything, It should really have the opposite effect. 

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2 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

People have a really skewed view of what two possessions mean for a guy who completed 56% of his passes, threw a god awful pick, and has a pocket presence of a 7 on 7 in shorts player. 

Im not here to sell you on Ben (though, I do have a different view then, well, pretty much all of you it seems), but I am here to tell you to sell any and all thoughts of Mason's start against the Covid depleted Browns having any impact on moving on from Ben. If anything, It should really have the opposite effect. 

Honestly one should have nothing to do with the other. With or without Ben. We won't be contending in 2021

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10 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

People have a really skewed view of what two possessions mean for a guy who completed 56% of his passes, threw a god awful pick, and has a pocket presence of a 7 on 7 in shorts player. 

Im not here to sell you on Ben (though, I do have a different view then, well, pretty much all of you it seems), but I am here to tell you to sell any and all thoughts of Mason's start against the Covid depleted Browns having any impact on moving on from Ben. If anything, It should really have the opposite effect. 

Like @wwhickoksaid, they aren't related things, and if you are referring to my comment about Rudolph it's not that it means a can move on from Ben, rather I think inside the building (and reports support this) they aren't desperate to need Ben back partially because of how Mason produced in that game and his attitude through the year.  Remember in 2019 there was no Claypool, Juju was hurt, Washington was a non-factor, and the run game was just as bad, along with no production at TE.  I do fully believe that part of Mason's better performance week 17 compared to the previous year.

Honest question here though:

An offense with Ben, Najee Harris, Johnson, Claypool, Washington, Ebron with a defense down Hilton, Sutton, Bud, Alualu record

VS

An offense with Mason, Harris, Johnson, Claypool, Washington, maybe Juju, Ebron, and a defense with Hilton, Alualu, maybe Sutton record

I think the Ben led offense tops out at 9-7, most likely 8-8 or 7-9 (don't forget we're in line for the toughest schedule in football).

And I think the Mason led offense tops out at 8-8 and likely to be there.

The difference to me is the floor.  I worry that a Ben led offense like that could fall to 4-12 or 6-10.  I don't think that Mason lead offense would go much worse than 6-10.

I think that in either case, we're looking at an outside shot of another year of 1-and-done in the playoffs with the latter being set up to get another QB in here in 2021 that can really elevate it.  I think with Ben here you are hoping for playoffs at best and maybe allowing him to have a slightly better exit from the playoffs than he had.  But we're not competing for a Super Bowl with him as the QB.  I think we're gonna fall behind the Browns and Ravens next year in division.  That doesn't factor in the Bills are going to get better, the Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders all being good or improving, then there's the Miami possibility.  

Would I love to see Ben go out on a high note?  Yea

Is that high note gonna be a Super Bowl?  Highly unlikely

Would I be upset with him moving on? No

Do I think it's best for this team right now for him to move on? That's where I'm leaning.

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2 minutes ago, warfelg said:

Mason produced in that game

Mason sucked in that game. I cannot stress this enough. That's my whole problem with the earlier comment. Mason was trash for 6/7ths of that game but two throws started the "Wait, are we better off with Mason?" conversation. 

We are not. 

In the biggest two possessions of the game, he completed 50% of his passes for 112 yards and 2 TDs. 67% of his yards came from 2 passes. Dobbs had to pick up the first downs. He ain't it and using him a spring board to why we are okay without Ben is not a studied argument. 

27 minutes ago, warfelg said:

An offense with Ben, Najee Harris, Johnson, Claypool, Washington, Ebron with a defense down Hilton, Sutton, Bud, Alualu record

VS

An offense with Mason, Harris, Johnson, Claypool, Washington, maybe Juju, Ebron, and a defense with Hilton, Alualu, maybe Sutton record

This is also the stuff I don't get a lot of coming from reporting voices. Why is it Ben and "no one" or everyone and no Ben? Why would we sign Dupree when Highsmith seemed more than capable? I mean, I ran through it in my off-season scenario but there is for sure a path to retaining all those guys (minus Dupree...because he doesnt make sense) AND having Ben. There's so many pieces to the puzzle you can make fit but the general consensus it seems is Ben vs our FA...and that's just not accurate. 

The difference between cutting Ben and doing the fake extension is $4M. That's it. It's not the difference between get Bud and JuJu and Sutton and Hilton and a pony and a stud C. It's the difference between Feiler or Sutton. Between Jamaal Williams or Snell. It's not some gigantic opening up of money or roster transforming cap availability. I'll take the $4M difference between Ben and Mason. 

What do people think our offense needs to do to be successful? We were 12th in PPG last year and went 12-4. We were 27th the year before and went 8-8 with no QB. Give me early season Ben with a far more capable Offensive mindset and I will show you a team that is competing in all its games. That's my biggest question of Ben....will he buy in to not owning the offense? I dont know that answer. 

29 minutes ago, warfelg said:

And I think the Mason led offense tops out at 8-8 and likely to be there.

The difference to me is the floor.  I worry that a Ben led offense like that could fall to 4-12 or 6-10.  I don't think that Mason lead offense would go much worse than 6-10.

Biggest thing for me in why I am still okay with Ben back: He had four 4th Q comebacks and 4 GW drives last year. You see Mason, Mr. 50%, in crunch time, doing that? I don't. Ben still has that. He still had quality, crunch time football. You say you see Masons floor is 6 wins? I don't because I don't think he wins us those 4th quarter games. 

Through the first 11 weeks of the season, playing through the scope of an Offense with more Canada concepts, Ben was completing 67% of his passes and had 24 TDs to 5 INTs. When we were in no huddle against the Ravens, Colts, and Browns he was pretty good (we didn't weaponize this enough and I don't know why -- check that, I do know why: Fichtner was awful). This offense did not fit Ben, though he was succeeding in it, and they had no counter when teams figured them out. Rewatching these games I dont see a terrible Ben as is being suggested. I see a painful offense, but Ben was still capable. That's not my ringing endorsement for a probowl, super bowl MVP bid....but if the question is Ben vs Mason who wins more games its hands down Ben based on what I saw. I don't like doing the "its not even close" thing because usually it is...but this one isn't. You want to win a game tomorrow it's Ben. 

Making the cut of Ben to go find another QB, that's probably a worthwhile conversation. Problem with the dead 2022 cap, I personally don't understand it but fine. Cutting Ben because of Mason Rudolph is not. 

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1 hour ago, Dcash4 said:

Cutting Ben because of Mason Rudolph is not. 

So your whole post was to say this and it’s not my point. My point is we don’t need to bend over backwards to retain Ben. 

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1 hour ago, Dcash4 said:

Making the cut of Ben to go find another QB, that's probably a worthwhile conversation. Problem with the dead 2022 cap, I personally don't understand it but fine. Cutting Ben because of Mason Rudolph is not. 

Came here to get general thoughts on the current Ben situation, but wanted to respond to this as an outsider

I don't think its either of these.

I don't think the cap situation will allow the Steelers to cut Ben and acquire a type of guy who leads the 2021 Steelers to 11 wins. I just don't think that QB exists at a price point the Steelers cap will allow them to pay - given the cap casualties that are sure to ensure (whether cuts or inability to resign)

I also don't think Pittsburgh is saying "Mason is our guy, let's cut Ben"

I think the correct answer (as stated a few posts up), is that either Ben or Rudolph are probably going to land you in that 7, 8, 9 win area - and if that's the case, why would you want to restructure in a way that negatively affects future seasons, where you DO have "playoff-run" upside?

Why not part ways today, take a shot at another rookie QB (or prep to go after an acquisition of a Garoppolo/Carr/Cousins type the following year when cap availability would allow for such a thing? If the answer is "Because it's Ben" - that's the wrong answer

I think a lot of fans need to recalibrate 2021 expectations when forming opinions on what to do with Ben... just my 2 cents as a non-fan living in Pittsburgh, who still follows the team fairly closely

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5 minutes ago, warfelg said:

So your whole post was to say this and it’s not my point. My point is we don’t need to bend over backwards to retain Ben. 

What’s sparked my posts was in response to your Dulac summary that there was some level of comfort in Rudolph which leads to believing it’s all good turning over from Ben. If anyone really believes that inside the organization, they need to be removed from any and all evaluation responsibilities. 

Also tucked inside my comment is how I don’t understand how we are bending over backwards for Ben. It’s not Ben or FAs. You can do some level of both that makes absolute sense. 

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59 minutes ago, Tk3 said:

I don't think the cap situation will allow the Steelers to cut Ben and acquire a type of guy who leads the 2021 Steelers to 11 wins. I just don't think that QB exists at a price point the Steelers cap will allow them to pay - given the cap casualties that are sure to ensure

The cap situation isnt why that player doesnt exist for the Steelers. They don't exist because...they don't exist. What player is netting us +3/4 wins right now that is available? Trading 3 1st for Deshaun? That's probably the end of the list, and a heafty price to pay considering his cap number jumps to $40M next year. Maybe Dak doesnt get the tag, then sure, yeah we don't have $35M to spend (only 6 teams do without changes). Ryan Fitz or Jameis? That's just arguing schematics of different, not 3-4 games better. Darnold is a better choice in a 2nd rounder for a future bid, but I wouldnt venture to say he is 4 wins better than Ben on this team. 

Im not trying to put words in your mouth, but I read your comment like there are options out there to be had and we cant do them because of money. That's just not the current situation at all. 

1 hour ago, Tk3 said:

why would you want to restructure in a way that negatively affects future seasons, where you DO have "playoff-run" upside

You can go back a few pages for my opinion here rather than rehashing it in full, but I dont fear the imaginary line that is the salary cap. I don't care about restructuring because I will do it with Hilton, Sutton, and whoever else I sign this year next year and immediately make up the difference, if its needed. Then with TJ, then with Minkah, on and on into perpetuity. Our cap situation is a blank slate moving forward and the cap is going to go up with the new TV money, 18th week, and 2 extra playoff games. I have no fear of Ben's dead cap hit interrupting some moves in the future because....well, they wont. 

It took a pandemic for "the restructuring to catch up to the Steelers". I'll take my chances with not running into another one. 

1 hour ago, Tk3 said:

Why not part ways today, take a shot at another rookie QB (or prep to go after an acquisition of a Garoppolo/Carr/Cousins type the following year when cap availability would allow for such a thing?

In terms of the bold, because Ben being on the roster or not, fake extending him or not, does nothing to stop you from doing that anyway. 

In terms of the rookie. Nothing is stopping you right now from taking one. Go for it. Let Mac Jones sit a year and see what ya got. Trade up a handful of spots for Trey Lance if you feel the need. These things have nothing to do with Ben on or off the roster. 

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2 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

The cap situation isnt why that player doesnt exist for the Steelers. They don't exist because...they don't exist. What player is netting us +3/4 wins right now that is available? Trading 3 1st for Deshaun? That's probably the end of the list, and a heafty price to pay considering his cap number jumps to $40M next year. Maybe Dak doesnt get the tag, then sure, yeah we don't have $35M to spend (only 6 teams do without changes). Ryan Fitz or Jameis? That's just arguing schematics of different, not 3-4 games better. Darnold is a better choice in a 2nd rounder for a future bid, but I wouldnt venture to say he is 4 wins better than Ben on this team. 

Im not trying to put words in your mouth, but I read your comment like there are options out there to be had and we cant do them because of money. That's just not the current situation at all. 

You can go back a few pages for my opinion here rather than rehashing it in full, but I dont fear the imaginary line that is the salary cap. I don't care about restructuring because I will do it with Hilton, Sutton, and whoever else I sign this year next year and immediately make up the difference, if its needed. Then with TJ, then with Minkah, on and on into perpetuity. Our cap situation is a blank slate moving forward and the cap is going to go up with the new TV money, 18th week, and 2 extra playoff games. I have no fear of Ben's dead cap hit interrupting some moves in the future because....well, they wont. 

It took a pandemic for "the restructuring to catch up to the Steelers". I'll take my chances with not running into another one. 

In terms of the bold, because Ben being on the roster or not, fake extending him or not, does nothing to stop you from doing that anyway. 

In terms of the rookie. Nothing is stopping you right now from taking one. Go for it. Let Mac Jones sit a year and see what ya got. Trade up a handful of spots for Trey Lance if you feel the need. These things have nothing to do with Ben on or off the roster. 

Nothing in this refutes my point - and mostly supports it

If you don't think you can seriously compete with Ben, and you don't think there are any options to seriously compete without Ben.. then why would you take the more expensive route (both this year and future years) as opposed to the route that better sets you up going forward?

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3 minutes ago, Tk3 said:

If you don't think you can seriously compete with Ben, and you don't think there are any options to seriously compete without Ben.. then why would you take the more expensive route (both this year and future years) as opposed to the route that better sets you up going forward?

I believe we have a .500 defense that will keep us in every game. I then believe we need a middle of the road offense to compete in every game. If my choices are Ben, Mason, or the FA pool -- I'll take Ben if I am actually trying to win games. 

In terms of the "expensive" route. Again, I don't fear the fake and expanding salary cap and I can provide you with a realistic off-season look where you retain your defense, build a solid foundation of an offensive line, and use the draft to upgrade (like we always do) -- all with Ben on the roster. Nothing we do with Ben would limit us from resigning quality talent and or revamping the position next year completely via FA or Rookie. So why not take the person I believe puts us in the best position to try to win games?

And as i mentioned earlier, the difference in cutting Ben or moving his money is $4M. It's not some windfall of money that all of a sudden makes us available to Aaron Jones, Bud Dupree, JuJu, Trent Williams, and JJ Watt. So, no, I don't get the "more expensive route. The "more expensive" route is $4M of space not $40M. 

 

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