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Steelers Linked To Saints Versatile Cornerback In Latest Trade Proposal

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Steelers Linked To Saints Versatile Cornerback In Latest Trade Proposal

The Pittsburgh Steelers went out and signed cornerback Levi Wallace during free agency, and re-signed Ahkello Witherspoon whom they traded for at the beginning of last season. Beyond that the team didn’t address an obvious hole that still remains at the position. They have a lot of ‘guys’, but they just don’t have ‘the guy’.

steelers ahkello Witherspoon

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 26: Ahkello Witherspoon #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers breaks up a pass intended for Josh Gordon #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Cam Sutton who by all rights is the teams #1 cornerback is likely best suited to be a #2. Witherspoon, and Wallace are also best suited to the guy opposite of a true lock down corner. Wallace had that privilege in Buffalo. He played opposite of star Tre’Davious White during most of his time there.

The issue for the Steelers and it has been since Mike Hilton left is that they don’t have a capable coverage corner for the slot. They tried different options last year heading into training camp. But when it was all said and done it ended up being Arthur Maulet’s job. He vastly under performed in comparison to what Hilton was able to do over the years at that position in that Defense.

They already brought in safety Damontae Kazee who expects to see time at the slot corner spot, but he is also one injury away from being one of the starting safeties. Wallace, and Witherspoon are mostly outside corners. Now, Sutton on the other hand played the slot very well when Hilton was injured a few times over the years. He fits the mold with his size of an inside corner. Would they bounce Sutton back inside? There’s been no indication of that yet, but they didn’t do it much last season even with the obvious need to do so.

We reported here last week that the Steelers should re-sign Joe Haden now that he’s still looking for a job, and that his contract demands have probably dwindled by the lack of interest. But another interesting scenario was brought to light late last week.

Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton listed a trade that each team should make before the start of the 2022 season. For the Steelers he believes that they should make a run at New Orleans cornerback Bradley Roby. The Steelers showed interest in Roby back in 2019 when he was a free agent of the Denver Broncos. Roby was reportedly offered a three year contract by the Steelers but instead chose to sign with the Houston Texans.

Steelers get: CB Bradley Roby

Saints get: 2023 sixth-round pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers rarely have a significant amount of cap room to use, but it won’t do them much good at this point in the offseason. There’s a league-wide shortage of potentially available quality veteran cornerbacks, but the Steelers’ current projected starters are the weakest in the NFL.

The New Orleans Saints have a cornerback to spare in Bradley Roby. The 30-year-old veteran was traded to New Orleans last year and re-worked his contract this offseason to stay with the Saints. His cap hit in 2022 is just $1.765 million.

Roby is sticky in man coverage and can play outside or in the slot. Current Steelers cornerbacks Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon are more suited for heavy zone play calls, whereas Roby would give defensive coordinator Teryl Austin more flexibility in case the zone isn’t working. He’d be at least a rotational starter for Pittsburgh compared to fifth or sixth on a loaded Saints depth chart.

The Steelers have been considered more of a zone defense for many years, but when Haden was playing opposite of Steven Nelson, with Hilton in the slot they tried to play a lot of man coverage. And it worked for them. According to Wharton the addition of Roby would give the Steelers some of that flexibility back.

For as cheap as Roby’s contract is the Steelers would be dumb to not make that move if it ever comes to fruition.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Steelers #1 All-Time Villian Pac-Man Jones' Claims To Be A 'Pittsburgh Type Of Guy' - Would Choose Pittsburgh To Play - SteelerNation.com

  2. Kelly Driskill

    June 21, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    No way you touch him for a sixth round pick. You have to get realistic if you want it to happen. He can man your number one corner spot no problem though and dies have true lockdown ability. Runs 4.4 but is EXTREMELY quick and his reactions skills are excellent. His only problem is he is 5’10 and would struggle with longer receivers like your own chase claypool. We just got him for a 3rd rounder last year and he is healthy suffered no injuries and put some damn good tape out there. We want him to start somewhere but only for the right price. How about we give you Bradley Roby and our next years second round pick for Pat Freirmuth . its basically like youre getting a starting #2 corner for free thats 100% healthy and has the ability skills and attitude to lock down the #1 spot if you need him to. He is only thirty and didn’t play much last year has no injury history to speak of so its easy to see he can be this player for about the next four seasons for you at the very least till he is 34 and then you could slide him inside at the slot for the next couole of years and have one if the best slot/nickel CB’s in the league. Thats seven years of high level play at a position of need for free. You get our number two next year so its like you get the same pick back you invested in Pat Freirmuth and a free starting corner for the next seven years. The guy is a consummate pro he really should be starting somewhere its just we invest heavily in that position due to having Kris Richard ( who built the legion of boom) as our secondary coach and we see tom Brady twice a year so we need match up guys all over the field. Our records have been pretty similar lately and the #55 pick you used on Freirmuth you would probably get back about the same. I expect us to be 10-7 or 11-6 next year so I imagine thats about what you guys were too. Hell we would throw in a extra sixth rounder too to make it happen, since you think so much of sixth round picks here have one yourself lol. But no what do you say? You solidify completely your position of need,and simply get your pick back on Pat Freirmuth. Its not like he has performed at a Kevel above the number 55 overall pick in that draft. Hell we can even throw in a decent receiving TE. We got one in Juwan Johnson just look at his tape from last year,we just need someone to step in and own the position its like your secondary we got a lot if guys including Taysom hill but no one is “the guy” so to recap. Bradley Roby, next years 2nd Rounder,2023 6th rounder and Juwan Johnson for Pat Freirmuth? Seriously go look at Juwan Johnsons tape before you answer. He was THE ONLY consistent bright spot for the Saints at receiver last year,other guys had bigger games,Johnson showed up every game. He is a big play receiver though and isnt especially good at blocking has a lean frame and doesnt work the short part of the field to well. Great red zone threat too. See coach Payton was a genius he could field an entire offense of UDFAs and late round draft picks and put us in the middle of the pack in offense every year and still win games. Payton focused on mismatches. So his roster always looked like the island of misfit toys lol. Juwan Johnson is one of those guys. Coach Allen takes a different approach,he wants guys that can do everything asked of them at their particular position and win the majority of their reps regardless of who their playing against, run or pass. Freirmuth fits that philosophy. Juwan Johnson though he had a great year doesnt. He is alit like your chase claypool only a few pounds heavier and a step slower. Nothings gonna happen for a sixth rounder though please.

  3. David Johnson

    June 22, 2022 at 5:31 am

    Great deal for Steelers but I do not see the value for the Saints.

    Dennis Allen not giving up any toyd for a six.

  4. John Smith

    June 22, 2022 at 7:29 am

    Why would the Saints do that? Roby is good and has a cheap contract. That’s worth a lot more than a 6th round pick. The Saints traded a 3rd to get him not even a year ago. Why would they give him away for a 6th?? To get rid of their depth?

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