The Steelers have a chance to be active at the trade deadline. Sitting at 3-2 and in a fight for the AFC North, the team is in a position where it likely would look to add to the team rather than sell off pieces. But that does not mean people do not want to see them make some drastic move.
The team executed trades for Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green near cut-down day, and Omar Khan dealt Chase Claypool for a second-round pick last year. Khan is not shy about making moves he thinks could help the team. But what about making a move as drastic as moving Najee Harris?
USA Today analyst Cory Woodruff listed the potential trade of Harris as the one move he would love to see the Steelers make before the trade deadline. The maligned running back has received plenty of heat since the Steelers selected him as a first-round pick out of Alabama, with repeated calls for backup Jaylen Warren to become the lead back on the offense.
“This might seem a little surprising, but the Steelers might want to transition running back Jaylen Warren into that starting spot and consider sending Harris to a team that could better utilize his talents,” Woodruff wrote. “Harris hasn’t quite been the thousand-yard rusher we’ve gotten used to this season, and it’d be very easy to see a Super Bowl-caliber team calling up the Steelers and seeing if Harris is available. Pittsburgh could probably get a second-round pick in return, and some team would get a proven running back in Harris to help a postseason run.”
A second-round pick for Harris throws an entirely different variable into the equation. However, Najee Harris looks like a player who needs more help from the scheme and offensive line than anything else. He has maximized much of what the team has given him, breaking tackles and making something out of nothing more than enough times.
So far this season, the Steelers running backs average 0.74 yards before first contact. That’s last in the NFL, and it’s not close. The Buccaneers and Browns rank next in the hierarchy, but Pittsburgh’s rushing attack is as dead in the water as any group’s. That’s not how they envisioned this playing out.
Harris and Warren can not do much with that. A trade of Harris opens up some possibilities, but do not count on the Steelers doing this. They like Harris, so he has remained the team’s lead back despite Warren producing.