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Steelers Tabbed as Landing Spot for Pro Bowl Broncos DB



Steelers Justin Simmons

It’s trade deadline season, meaning the Steelers will be linked to multiple players. That already happened early on Wednesday, when the odds for DeAndre Hopkins’ next team dropped, and the Steelers were at the top of that list. But Sports Illustrated compiled a list of trades they would like to see happen before the trade deadline and one of them was the Steelers trading for Broncos defensive back Justin Simmons.

Connor Orr, the writer who proposed the trade, would like to see Pittsburgh cough up their 2024 third-round pick to bring Simmons into the fold for a struggling secondary.

“While this may seem odd, given that the Steelers are settled at the position, Simmons could break open the defense and allow all of its component parts to spread their wings,” Orr wrote. “Safeties are valuable, especially rangy ones, in a division where the more physical the secondary, the better its chances of survival. Pittsburgh is not one offensive upgrade away from becoming an elite offense, but Simmons could get the Steelers to the territory where, if Pittsburgh makes the playoffs as a low seed, it would have a better chance of completely upending an opponent by showing them something they haven’t shown all season, or simply overwhelming them with experience in the secondary and creating that critical turnover. This would remind me a little of when they plucked Minkah Fitzpatrick away from the Dolphins in 2019.”

It’s not a terrible idea. Pittsburgh needs a defensive back, but cornerback seems like the position where help is required far more than safety. But safety has not been a strength of this team, so Simmons is at the top of the market for potential players Pittsburgh could bring in to help their safety rotation. There are likely cheaper veterans, potentially even familiar face Terrell Edmunds, who could join the group.

Simmons is a Pro-Bowler and is paid handsomely, so that is another factor to consider, especially for the day-two draft pick Pittsburgh would give up in this scenario. Could it happen? You can’t completely dismiss it. But I would bet against this trade happening, and it does feel a bit rich for Pittsburgh at this stage in the process, with more significant needs at cornerback and even center. A safety for later day three compensation makes sense, but Simmons is not that.