One of the hottest team’s in the NFL through eight weeks; the Pittsburgh Steelers are riding high with a record of 7-0. Back to their old form after an injury to Ben Roethlisberger derailed the team’s 2019 campaign, the Steelers currently sit atop the AFC and will surely look to be buyers heading into tomorrow’s trade deadline. Already striking a deal to acquire Jets linebacker Avery Williamson for a draft pick late Sunday night, here are three more possible trades for Pittsburgh.
Trade 1: A 2021 fourth-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for Riley Reiff
After the loss of Zack Banner to a season-ending knee injury, there is a clear need at the offensive tackle position. With longtime left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor as the only true tackles on the roster, Reiff would provide much-needed depth at the position with the opportunity to challenge for a starting spot. Currently carrying a steady 8.2 million dollar cap hit, Pittsburgh has the financial flexibility to take on Reiff’s contract from the Vikings with close to nine million dollars in cap space to play with. Keeping Roethlisberger upright needs to be a major priority for the Steelers as they head into the deadline and the second half of the season, making the opportunity to add a proven NFL left tackle an attractive option.
One of the teams expected to be a premier contender in the NFC heading into the season; through eight weeks, the Vikings have struggled mightily to a 2-5 record. Needing to rebuild their roster after the losses of many longtime veterans in free agency last year, general manager Rick Spielman should look to move off his longtime left tackle. Nearly cut before the start of the 2020 campaign, Reiff agreed to a restructured deal with Minnesota, setting the stage for the team to select offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland in this year’s draft. Not expected to be on the roster heading into the 2021 season due to his age and cap hit, a fourth-round pick would be a good return for the longtime veteran.
Trade 2: A 2021 fifth-round pick and seventh-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for Haason Reddick
A player that the Steelers were very interested in leading into the 2017 NFL draft, Reddick has never quite found a true home in Arizona. Moving all over the Cardinals defense, the former first-round pick has taken snaps at off-ball linebacker while also lining up as a traditional pass rusher. One of the most feared defensive lines in football, the Steelers currently lead the league in sacks with 30 takedowns through seven games. Lead by standout linebackers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, Reddick would provide the team with another solid rotational piece along the defensive line to spell snaps. He also possesses the versatility to stop the run and cover tight ends and receivers in the passing game. Off to the best start of his career with five sacks through eight games of the season, two day three pick should get the deal done.
Forced out of his natural position upon arrival in Arizona in 2017, Reddick has moved back to outside linebacker under head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Off to a hot start to the 2020 season, the former University of Temple standout currently leads the Cardinals in sacks after fighting for a roster spot in training camp. Looking to sell high on Reddick after a disappointing beginning to his NFL career, the Cardinals have the depth along the defensive line and at the linebacker position to part ways with him. Acquiring two late-round selections would allow general manager Steve Keim to retain value on Haason while providing a much needed fresh start for both parties.
Trade 3: A 2021 fourth-round pick to the Washington Football Team for Ronald Darby
Needing a clear upgrade behind starting cornerbacks Joe Haden and Steven Nelson, the Steelers pass defense has struggled at points during the 2020 season. Gearing up for a deep playoff run, Pittsburgh will match up against high powered passing attacks in the second half of the season, making an upgrade at defensive back a priority. A free agent acquisition by Washington after two seasons in Philadelphia, Darby has been rock solid. He has appeared in all eight games for the team, he has recorded 25 tackles, and three passes defended, leading to a 68.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. An expiring contract as he is on just a one year deal, a fourth-round pick for Darby would provide Pittsburgh much needed depth at the position with the ability to start him in the case of injuries.
After taking a flyer on the former Buffalo Bills fourth-round pick after an up and down 2019 campaign, Washington struck a deal with Darby in the offseason. Reacquiring value playing under defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, a top 150 draft selection would represent a solid return on investment for a team focused on building for the future. With Fabian Moreau and Kendall Fuller, both capable of handling the starting cornerback duties and Darby set to hit the market at the end of the season, moving off him is smart business for Washington.
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