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Steelers Unlikely To Sign James Conner

Steeler Nation

Administrator
Staff member
One of the better feel-good stories in Pittsburgh sports is coming to a close. Per ESPN‘s Brooke Pryor, the inevitable hypothetical is becoming a reality; the Pittsburgh Steelers are unlikely to re-sign James Conner.

In an article from March 2nd, Pryor gives an overview of the Steelers’ free agency situation and explicitly states it:

Screen-Shot-2021-03-03-at-10.20.30-AM.png


If true (which, let’s face it, it probably is), my hometown heart will hurt a little. I love the guy. I root for the guy. And I’ll continue to root for him wherever he goes, because he’s just that easy to love. But with the business of the NFL being the way it is, money talks louder than just about anything else – louder than cities and fans and the team colors that they grew up in. And, in a twist that shocked no one, the Steelers don’t have much of it. In fact, they’re going to be in a mad scramble just to become cap-compliant before March 17th.

Conner, who struggled with injuries throughout his tenure in Pittsburgh, did show flashes of possibility and promise. He totaled almost 1,000 rushing yards in the 2018 playing only 13 games, and reached the end zone 12 times. All in his first year as the team’s official starting running back. He might not receive a bank-breaking deal, but he’ll easily find a team who can pay him more than the Steelers could – and will be more than willing to do so.

The run game needs a major overhaul and should be the primary focus in the 2021 NFL Draft and free agency, starting with the offensive line. But the team no doubt will be able to find a running back to add to the room.

It always hurts to say goodbye to a beloved player. But it’s far better than a bitter goodbye. And I consider whichever team he lands on a lucky one indeed.

It’s already written

— James Conner (@JamesConner_) March 1, 2021


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Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
Nice article Jordan and thanks.


I too feel a lot of love towards James and his story. He has beaten the odds in football and life, awesome person while doing so. Couldn't ask for a more humble true man and I'm sorry he has to go but it's inevitable. Hope he lands on his feet somewhere and keeps on trucking.



Salute the nation
 
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madinsomniac

Well-known member
I think there is an outside shot he is back... lets assume they intend to draft a RB... that guy won’t be ready asap... Conner played in Canada system in pitt and was highly successful... it may be logical for him to take a one year deal, pump up his stats until the new guy is ready... he would be a better safety plan than benny snell and Coach’s speed demon that never goes anywhere... lol
 

steelhurt

Well-known member
Nice young man and glad he’s cancer free and continues to be but we need to upgrade at this position. James will be fine and land on his feet with a new team and fresh new contract.
My prediction, Buff Bills.
 

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SteelerSask

Well-known member
Conner will land on his feet as a backup somewhere. Anyone with his starts and stats will get another chance as a role player. Maybe if the blocking was better it would have turned out better for him in Pittsburgh. If he goes unsigned early he could be added as a backup.
 

thesteelcity

Pittsburgh, PA
I like James as a compliment to a bigger, younger back. Benny Snell hasn't impressed me too much, but it may be time to set JC free to pursue another opportunity. He will get scooped up.
 

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SteelerFan448

Well-known member
Conner is a good back. I think what we saw is he began to press a little too much as we got further away from Bell. He wanted to do much rather than stick to what worked for him. I also think the offensive philosophy shifted away from what Conner did well. Combine that with injuries and it was just a bad combination that lowered his productivity.
 

jitter77

Well-known member
I think our Oline was worse than perceived by a lot of people. I dont think its fair to James or any of our backs to rate them. My biggest issue w/ Conner is staying healthy and lack of top end speed. We havent had a back that could run away from people for a while. I think Conner would be at least average with a half decent Oline
 

Ron Burgundy

Well-known member
He is good but not great and will land somewhere if he will accept the #2 RB job and #2 RB money. His injury issues go back to his time at Pitt and have nothing to do with cancer. You want to draft a RB, cut Watt and Snell, and have Connor as #2 I'm fine with that but I don't think he would be. Not bagging on him personally, but his reliability track record is what it is.
 

Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
He is good but not great and will land somewhere if he will accept the #2 RB job and #2 RB money. His injury issues go back to his time at Pitt and have nothing to do with cancer. You want to draft a RB, cut Watt and Snell, and have Connor as #2 I'm fine with that but I don't think he would be. Not bagging on him personally, but his reliability track record is what it is.

Well said Ron, I like James' story a lot, A WHOLE LOT but his ability to stay on the field is the question.



Salute the nation
 

Lloyds legend

Well-known member
The 2018 game at Heinz against the Stains when the crowd broke into the "Conner, Conner" chant was awesome!

I love the kid but our running game has to be better.
 

Atlsteelers

Well-known member
I would be ok with resigning him but knowing he will be a back up/3rd down back. Connor when healthy was decent. Better than Snell or what little we saw from McFarland. He has decent hands to be a 3rd down back, isn’t afraid of contact and will take on the block if need be. A combo of Harris and him would be nice. Also, a big part of our run game was our line. We have to upgrade across the line.
 
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ZonaBurgh

Well-known member
I'm guessing that some team will give him more money than the Steelers will offer, assuming they don't just let him walk, which again, I think would be a shame.
Get him a line that can knock over a gnat and I believe he still has some tread on the tires. No one can question his heart. He may not be a feature back, but would
be a strong #2.
 

Ron Burgundy

Well-known member
I would be ok with resigning him but knowing he will be a back up/3rd down back. Connor when healthy was decent. Better than Snell or what little we saw from McFarland. He has decent hands out to be a 3rd down back, isn’t afraid of contact and will take on the block of need be. A combo of Harris and him would be nice. Also, a big part of our run game was our line. We have to upgrade across the line.
Exactly. At this point it's proven that he isn't good enough or durable enough to be a #1 every down RB with 25-30 carries a game. Needs to be limited to 10 carries and some passes or else he'll spend a quarter of the season on the injured list.
 

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