Pittsburgh Steelers: A T.J. Watt Trade Might Be on the Table
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the better defenses in the NFL, but should they really think about trading T.J. Watt?
The Pro Bowl outside linebacker is getting paid $10 million in 2021 and will be a free agent next offseason.
Ideally, the Steelers should try to add to their elite level defense and keep Watt long-term.
But, trading T.J. Watt does make sense. Let’s break it down.
If Pittsburgh chose to trade T.J. Watt, they should be able to get a first-round pick and possibly two second-rounders.
We’ve seen the Jacksonville Jaguars ship Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for two first-rounders and a fourth-rounder.
The Steelers are not a Super Bowl team right now and they have several holes to fill with not a lot of cap space.
As Pittsburgh tries to fill out their roster and stay under the cap, they have to look at tradeable assets.
Pitt doesn’t have a lot of guys that are considered special.
Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Devin Bush are players who could net a solid to excellent return.
Cam Heyward and Chase Claypool are not going anywhere, but are notable players the Steelers have.
It’s hard to imagine the Steelers making blockbuster trades, but it seems as if they are starting to wake up and realize they are not a Super Bowl contender.
Build a Better Team
If you’re the Steelers and you know your offense has issues, don’t you think about being creative when solving those issues?
If the Steelers expect to solve all of their issues by utilizing the draft picks they currently have and just signing guys to small contracts, they are in for a rude awakening probably.
Trading T.J. Watt is a big blow to the Pittsburgh defense. But, the black and gold could increase their chances of getting a QB and center in the first round. They definitely need both positions to get an upgrade with Ben Roethlisberger entering potentially his last NFL season and Maurkice Pouncey retiring a few days ago.
And besides, the Pittsburgh Steelers have proven they can draft linebackers. It’s what they do well. Pitt also knows how to draft wide receivers.
If we were talking about another NFL franchise being in the same position the Steelers are in, we would say they should trade their star outside linebacker, left tackle, or safety just to add draft capital.
It can stink retooling or rebuilding, but it can be for the better.
T.J. Watt has been terrorizing opposing offenses over his four years in the NFL.
In 2020, the Wisconsin product had 15 sacks and was runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
He has been healthy during his pro career and has only missed two regular-season games since 2017.
It would be hard to envision a Steeler defense without Watt and his playmaking ability.
But, if they trade him they should look at teams in the NFC.
Green Bay, San Francisco, and Washington would be good fits for T.J. Watt.
But, those teams may want to use their picks in other ways besides trading for Watt.
Washington needs a QB and San Fran could send some picks to the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson.
Of course, it would be better to see T.J. Watt help lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 7th Super Bowl victory and not got dealt at all.