The Steelers’ lack of spending on offense is…worrisome


Have the Steelers already stop on the season?
Picture: Getty Photographs

Heading into 2022, there are 14 groups whose greatest cap hit on offense is their quarterback. There are seven groups whose greatest cap hit on offense is an offensive lineman. Six groups are spending essentially the most on a large receiver. Three on a decent finish (JAX, MIA, NE) and one on a operating again (CIN). That makes 31 groups. The one group left is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Their highest-paid offensive player in 2022 shall be their fullback, Derek Watt. Watt has a $4,713,334 cap hit hooked up to him this yr. That’s greater than beginning proper sort out Chukwuma Okorafor ($4,333,333 cap hit), greater than Diontae Johnson ($3,073,357), greater than Najee Harris ($2,965,329), and sure, it’s greater than any quarterback on their roster.

Like what on Earth are the Steelers considering?

Pittsburgh has the seventh-most cap area within the NFL proper now and there are nonetheless some very stable free brokers on the market. J.C. Tretter is an elite middle, and he’s accessible for the Steelers to take! Their present middle Mason Cole is ok within the run recreation, however was constantly decimated as a go blocker final yr. Go signal Tretter! Sort out Duane Brown actually isn’t what he as soon as was, however at the very least he’s a confirmed vet and would in all probability be an improve over third-round decide Dan Moore. That’s simply the linemen.

The group misplaced JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason, and so they might actually use one other passing weapon to assist ease rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett into the league. Odell Beckham Jr. continues to be there. Julio Jones, Will Fuller, hell, I do know TE Pat Freiermuth confirmed a variety of promise final yr, however there’s no hurt in selecting up Rob Gronkowski once you’ve acquired nearly $20 million in cap area left. All of those guys might in all probability be signed for decreased offers too! Simply don’t go into 2022 paying your fullback greater than anybody else on offense!

Watt solely noticed the sphere on seven p.c of offensive snaps final season. SEVEN PERCENT! He would possibly as effectively be a stray cat storming the sphere at that proportion! Watt noticed the sphere almost 4 occasions extra usually on particular groups than offense. In 2021, he noticed 86 offensive snaps and 332 particular groups snaps. He’s just about solely a particular teamer and he’s your highest-paid offensive participant. That’s simply embarrassing.

How do you let that occur? How do you even pay your fullback over 4 million {dollars} to start with? There’s no denying that San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk is the very best fullback in soccer. He has been for a number of years now. He’s making lower than three million in 2022. Juszczyk does have that profitable Incogmeato deal going for him, although, so possibly he’s prepared to take a smaller wage. That’s a joke in fact. His deal is backlogged and he’s going to make greater than six million in 2023, however the factors I’m attempting to make nonetheless stand.

  1. Watt shouldn’t be making almost as a lot cash as he’s in 2022
  2. The Steelers must spend extra on offense

The extra I have a look at this Steelers group, the extra I believe that their entrance workplace has already determined to throw within the towel for 2022.

They’ve made zero effort to extend Diontae Johnson. And so they didn’t deal with their offensive line within the draft, which was an enormous drawback final yr and an enormous cause why Najee Harris averaged lower than 4 yards per carry final season, the third-worst of any halfback in 2021 with at least 200 carries (James Conner, Alvin Kamara).

I assume the group nonetheless has time to make a splash earlier than the season begins, however they’ve already had a number of alternatives to take action and haven’t made a sound. They’re in arguably the hardest division in soccer and haven’t had a shedding file since 2003, but the group appears content material with the place it’s at.

During the last 20 or so years, I’ve realized to by no means wager in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers, however paying a fullback greater than anybody else on offense in 2022? That’s blasphemy to the best diploma, and it shouldn’t shock anybody that they’ve acquired the bottom odds to win the AFC North subsequent yr (+1100), greater than 5 occasions larger than the subsequent closest group, the Baltimore Ravens (+210).

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