PITTSBURGH — Steven Nelson is thrilled to be right here, which is the stance nearly each free-agent signee takes at his introductory information convention. However an endorsement from the brand new Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback appears well timed after a turbulent six months.
“The vibe right here round right here could be very chill. Guys come to work and it is like a household,” stated Nelson, who signed a three-year, $25.5 million cope with the Steelers after 4 seasons with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. “I’ve heard nice issues already. I do not actually take note of the crap that is within the media.”
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The Steelers need — scratch that, want — gamers who wish to be in Pittsburgh, as a result of these days it is stylish to discover a approach out of right here.
Le’Veon Bell pressured his approach into free company in pursuit of assured cash, although the group is satisfied Bell didn’t take its five-year, $70 million provide final offseason as a result of he wished a contemporary begin elsewhere.
Antonio Brown pressured a commerce, additionally in pursuit of assured cash, although his points with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, coach Mike Tomlin and the group performed a task.
Morgan Burnett pressured his April 1 launch in pursuit of a task as a beginning security as an alternative of dime linebacker, although some contained in the constructing imagine Burnett suffered from tradition shock after eight seasons with the Inexperienced Bay Packers.
The parallel amongst all three: They wished out and obtained their approach.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin have watched a expertise drain from the group this offseason. Jason Bridge/US Presswire
“No matter transfer we make with any participant, it’ll be for our profit and our profit solely,” normal supervisor Kevin Colbert stated in February.
The Steelers can say these have been distinctive circumstances that will not permeate the locker room, and that is in all probability true. However a number of high-level defections in a single offseason is hardly a sustainable mannequin for achievement.
Whereas Burnett’s departure is extra in keeping with routine NFL enterprise — signing Mark Barron to a two-year, $12 million contract made Burnett expendable anyway — there’s purpose to imagine the group will be taught from the way it dealt with Brown and Bell.
The Steelers did not should tag Bell in back-to-back years solely to stay unmoved on assured cash throughout negotiations.
The Steelers did not should commerce Brown. They may have saved him on the roster and fined him throughout coaching camp till he confirmed up able to work. Clearly the Steelers did not need that distraction, however they gave up the sport’s greatest receiver for a third- and fifth-round decide — lower than supreme, even for a participant who sabotaged his personal commerce worth with weird conduct.
Maybe assured cash hooked up to the final three years of Brown’s deal would have saved him in Pittsburgh. Both approach, the Steelers clung to their conventional contract mannequin, and two high-profile gamers challenged it.
Within the aftermath, the Steelers are hoping for calmer waters. They know Pittsburgh continues to be a fascinating place to work. Barron stated Tomlin’s blunt strategy to teaching was a draw for him. New receiver Donte Moncrief cited the possibility to play with Roethlisberger as a catalyst for his two-year deal.
The Steelers will need extra of those tales within the foreseeable future, a lot in order that group president Artwork Rooney II instructed a small group of longtime Pittsburgh beat writers that it is time to transfer on from Brown and Bell.
“We’re excited concerning the gamers we now have and [are] going to have within the constructing and searching ahead to getting began on 2019,” Rooney stated.