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‘0 Playoff Wins’: Colin Cowherd Blasts Steelers Defensive Spending



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Do the Steelers spend too much on the defensive side of the ball? After Wednesday’s extension of Alex Highsmith, the team who pays  their defensive players some of the most money in the NFL will now be paying even more on top of that, and it has turned out to be one of the more controversial things this offseason.

Well, Colin Cowherd believes that the team puts too many eggs in their basket on the defensive side of the ball. After saying they had a top five roster days ago, Cowherd still believes that too much of that strength and upside comes from defense. He compared them to how the Chiefs operate, and believes that in the modern day NFL, you can not pay your defense so much more than your offense.

“The key to any franchise is staying current,” Cowherd. “The Chiefs are third in offensive spending, near the bottom of the NFL in defense. The Steelers are third or fourth highest spenders on defense. Both rosters are very good and both coaches are very good, ownership, organizations. But the Chiefs are viewed as progressive, cutting edge, and clever, they are viewed different. They move off players quickly on the defensive side if they’re not named Chris Jones. Pittsburgh is viewed as tough, physical, defense, and more five years they can’t figure out their offensive line or running game. Both rosters are stacked, both owners are great, both coaches will make the Hall of Fame. But they view the world differently.”

This is true, but there’s context that Cowherd is missing here. For one, Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes make up a lot of that money in raw pay. The rest of it largely goes into their offensive line. For Pittsburgh, they splurged on their offensive line this offseason, and are paying their wide receiver a decent amount of money, too. While they have not spent a ton of money there yet, most of their top draft picks in the past few seasons have been on offense.

Cowherd’s world view is that you can draft defense and sign offensive players for more money and improve more rapidly. It’s what the Chiefs did partially to improve the offensive line, though they drafted Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith at discounts both times. Cowherd’s world view aligns with the Chiefs.

“Spend the money on offense, Kansas City’s view, keep the defense young, fast, cheap, and fresh,” Cowherd said. “If they get hurt, they recover more quickly. The Steelers world view is more sacks. They’ve led the NFL in sacks 4 of the last 6 years. 0 playoff wins.”

Pittsburgh will start to pay some of their offensive talent soon. Pat Friermuth, Najee Harris, and others will need contracts soon enough. Right now, only Diontae Johnson makes significant money. So, this could completely shift at some point in the next few years to the other side.

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