Rocco wrote:Dump Lewis without trying to sign him after he plays well. Replace with William Gay, who stinks. We're sure the Steelers aren't tanking the 2013 season on purpose, right?
They didn't dump Lewis, they just didn't offer him a contract with money they didn't have. Big difference.
It's a distinction without a difference. They didn't make an offer at all to a young player they drafted and developed and turned into a solid corner. They somehow found the money to bring back Larry Foote's dead body and at one point tried to sign Wallace but couldn't be bothered to try to keep Lewis.
Gay also won't be replacing Lewis, as he'll be used only in situational packages, where he actually plays decently well. Cortez Allen, who is young, ahead of the Lewis-defined curve, and much cheaper will step in at CB as a starter and by season's end, people will wonder why anyone ever fretted over losing Lewis.
Gay was let go by the Steelers after 2011 without much regret, and the Cardinals had no problem kicking him to the curb. Did anyone else want Gay? Even if Allen plays well you're looking at a situation where you don't have enough corners in a league where good corners are a necessity. Ike's not getting any younger and coming off a serious injury.
They may be a Roethlisberger injury away from the first overall pick (extreme hyperbole, btw), but they're also not far from a playoff spot, either. Oh, and for the record in more than half of the NFL cities (specifically those with All-Pro caliber QBs), if said QB goes down to longterm injury, the playoffs are a pipedream, anyway.
Steelers fans have been spoiled by years and years of success. The team is bound to have a few down years moving forward, and not every star player can be retained. But their not nearly as downtrodden as some think.
It's not hyperbole. The 2010 team survived without their QB for 4 games and went to the Super Bowl. He missed time in 2011 and they won 12 games. With a healthy QB this year they were 6-3; he went down and wasn't totally right upon his return and they won 8 games. The talent around him is getting worse and the team pretty much needs him to carry them in order to beat anyone with a pulse. As of right now, 5 starters off the team are gone (Starks, Colon, Wallace, Harrison and Lewis); you can argue they weren't that good to begin with, but they were good enough that the coaches thought they were the best options. a 6th starter (Miller) probably won't be available to start the year. They may very well lose two more starters if Keisel and Hampton aren't brought back. You can argue that injuries undid last season, and you'd have a point, but most of the guys who got hurt are guys who always get hurt. BRoeth misses time every year. Troy misses time. Woodley's missed time the last two seasons. Pouncey always misses a game or two. You can't expect full seasons from guys who never give you full seasons. Plus it's an older roster and older players get hurt more often.
They got as much mileage out of their core as they could; those guys are old, and there's not a lot on hand to replace them because they've flushed money down the toilet on linemen like Colon and Kemoeatu and missed on a lot of draft picks (everyone from the 2008 draft is gone except for Ryan Mundy; they have Hood left from the 2009 draft; the 2010 draft was solid, but 2011 has been meh so far and the 2012 draft was hurt or arrested). They're going to have to dump veterans and start over and it's going to be a little messy for a year or two until the purge is complete.