With all of the recent drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s easy to wonder whether or not the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, or even Mike Tomlin will find themselves back in Pittsburgh for the 2019 season. Between Bell’s season-long absence, Brown’s absence from the final game of the season, or Tomlin’s lack of postseason success, many fans advocate for any of the above listed (sometimes it’s all three) to pack their bags and find a new team.
Bet Online recently released their odds on the potential departures in Pittsburgh. Some odds you may find surprising, while others might align with your expectations this off-season.
Will Antonio Brown be on the Steelers for Week 1, 2019?
These odds are somewhat close to even, but the sports books favor Brown will remain in a Steelers uniform come the first week of the season among myriads of reports suggesting otherwise. Brown has found himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, stemming from his absence in Pittsburgh’s last game of the season.
Since Brown’s future in black and gold remains in serious question, there’s opportunity to make money no matter what side you fall on. If you believe Brown will stay in the steel city, $200 must be wagered in order to profit $100 on your bet. If you believe Brown will be sent packing, a $100 bet will pay you $150 should that happen.
Will Mike Tomlin be the Head Coach of the Steelers in Week 1, 2019?
These odds are more one-sided when compared to Brown’s odds of staying. Tomlin’s overall success as the Steelers head coach has been sustainable enough to keep him around despite underwhelming finishes to the past few seasons. While Tomlin’s job has never been in true jeopardy in years past, many believe the breaking point for Tomlin creeps closer with each season that doesn’t end in a minimal playoff run.
However, the likelihood of Tomlin being waived good-bye before the 2019 season appears to be unlikely, so much to the point where you would need to bet $1000 in order to make $100. Feeling risky or have sources nobody else does? A nice $500 can be made off betting $100 if you think Tomlin won’t be around the next time the Steelers suit up and play.
What team will Le’Veon Bell play for in 2019?
Best Odds: New York Jets at 3/1 odds
Worst Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers at 16/1 odds
Bell’s roller-coaster career in Pittsburgh is likely to come to its conclusion after Bell opted to sit out the entirety of the 2018 season to preserve himself for next year. With his absence, James Conner emerged as one of the best backs in the league. Bell is expected to not be brought back, although the Steelers could opt to franchise tag him for a third straight year.
The fate of Bell’s 2019 ultimately rests within the hands of the Steelers organization. Will Pittsburgh attempt to bring Bell back for one more go-around? Odds-makers don’t believe so, ranking ten teams with even or better odds to land Bell for next year:
New York Jets, 3/1 odds
Oakland Raiders, 4/1 odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5/1 odds
Philadelphia Eagles, 7/1 odds
Green Bay Packers, 15/2 odds
San Francisco 49ers, 9/1 odds
Indianapolis Colts, 9/1 odds
Baltimore Ravens, 9/1 odds
Houston Texans, 12/1 odds
Seattle Seahawks, 16/1 odds
Pittsburgh Steelers, 16/1 odds
If you’re a betting man, it appears anybody but the Steelers is the option for Bell moving forward. The Jets are strong favorites to land Bell due to a great need at the running back position and excessive cap room, yet the Colts and 49ers find themselves in the same conversation due to similar structures heading into the off-season as well.
Nobody possesses a crystal ball with all the answers (at least that we know of), yet the odds given above may reveal a little more about the future of some of the biggest names involved with the Steelers.
NBC’s Mike Florio Predicts Dim Outlook for JuJu Smith-Schuster in Free Agency
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio is not so sure Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to get the pay day he believes he deserves.
Florio joined The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan on Friday, and painted a dim picture of Smith-Schuster’s free agency prospects.
“If Juju wants to be paid like a No. 1 wide receiver, he’s going to be waiting a long, long time,” Florio said.
Smith-Schuster has expressed a desire to remain in Pittsburgh, but their dire salary cap situation had a made a continuation seemingly impossible.
Now that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has signed a new contract and provided the club additional financial flexibility, there may be a path for Smith-Schuster to return. Still, there will not be enough money available to pay him like one of the league’s elite wideouts.
If that is what Smith-Schuster wants in Pittsburgh, he may be in for a rude awakening as Florio predicts.
Smith-Schuster led the Steelers with 97 receptions in 2020, while also tallying 831 yards and nine touchdowns.
Selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Southern California, Smith-Schuster has 293 receptions, 3,565 yards and 24 touchdowns as a Steeler. He was selected to his first and only Pro Bowl in 2018.
Steelers Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada on Run Game, Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada has spoken publicly for the first time since his promotion in late January.
Canada joined the latest edition of The Standard, the Steelers’ behind-the-scenes web series, and discussed a number of topics, including fixing the run game, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his offensive philosophy.
There is no denying Pittsburgh produced the least successful rushing attack in football a season ago, averaging just 84.4 yards per game and 3.6 yards per attempt.
Canada recognizes the Steelers need to improve significantly on the ground, a mandate he implied came down from Team President Art Rooney II.
“He’s made it very clear that that’s got to get better,” Canada said. “When all of us realized that we didn’t get it done we wanted to with our running game and all of who are here are part of that. And we’ve got to improve upon it in a multitude of ways and we’re certainly focused on it. We’re globally studying who’s running the ball well. We’ve always believed in running the football anywhere that I’ve been. You win up front. I believe that. We believe that. I know Coach Tomlin believes that.”
Not only will the Steelers have to better impose their will in the trenches, but Canada knows they will also have to remove the predictability that plagued them last season, especially in the passing game.
“You have to be able to run the football when they know you’re going to run it,” Canada added. “And you have to be able to throw the football when they know you’re going to throw it.”
Canada also gushed over Roethlisberger, who the Steelers announced will be returning for the 2021 season on a one-year contract Thursday.
“He’s such a great competitor. He competes at everything he does and his competitive drive is so strong and so awesome to be around no matter what we’re doing,” Canada said of Roethlisberger.
He also praised the 39-year-old’s accuracy, which he believes sets Roethlisberger apart from his peers.
“And then just his accuracy. And I’ve said this to one of my buddies who’s a quarterback coach somewhere else. Young quarterbacks, I wish there was some way for them to be here and watch how he practices putting the ball in certain spots. It’s such a unique talent that he’s able to do it.”
While Roethlisberger’s new deal has provided the Steelers some much needed financial flexibility, they will still undoubtedly have some tough departures once free agency begins in earnest.
Regardless which players do or do not remain in Pittsburgh heading into the 2021 season, Canada insists his offense will be multi-dimensional and cater to whatever personnel the Steelers have on the offensive side.
“We are going through and looking at the foundation of our offense. And building an offense that will be conducive to whatever talent that we have,” Canada said. “I don’t believe you have a certain system that works and this is all we’re going to do and we have to have the players for that. We have the players we have each year. Our job is to score more points than the team we play on each Sunday.”
Steelers Sign Center J.C. Hassenauer on One-Year Deal
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed center J.C. Hassenauer to a one-year deal, first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Steelers sign center J.C. Hassenauer, an exclusive rights free agent, to a one-year deal, per source.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 4, 2021
An exclusive right free agent, Hassenauer was almost a lock to return to Pittsburgh in 2021. His new deal with the Steelers is worth $780,000.
Hassenauer proved a vital piece along the Steelers’ offensive line a season ago, seeing action in 15 games and making four starts. He was on the field for 23% of the team’s offensive stats, while also appearing on 50 special teams plays.
Prior to Pittsburgh, Hassenauer signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2018, spending the first seven weeks of the season on their practice squad.
He played for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football in 2019.
Hassenauer played his college ball at Alabama. He made just three career starts for the Crimson Tide, with his final coming in the 2018 College Football Playoff national championship game, a 26-23 overtime win over Georgia.
Hassenauer’s agent Blake Baratz confirmed the signing on Twitter on Thursday.