By: Gary VanDyke (Twitter: @HBogart27)
FFD260 IDPS: Primed In Pittsburgh
I woke up Labor Day morning about 5:00 a.m. and thought to myself I should start an article about second and third-year safeties as I had with the linebackers a few weeks ago. As I got to Pittsburgh’s SS Sean Davis some revelations started hitting home with recent events that I’m convinced may be relevant and worth stopping what I’m was doing and letting our readers know exactly how things are set up in The Steele City now. I do admit it could be just reading too much into the tea leafs, but it is very compelling and worth my risk of my reputation to pass this information on. How it can possibly affect our IDP lineups could be minimal for some but drastic for others. Or have no bearing what so ever. This really depends on what end of the spectrum we happen to be sitting in at this time. The reactions will vary I’m sure. And if it does not play out as it may look like then there is no harm in me jumping the gun on putting this out. But I’ll let everyone see what I’ve come across and determined for themselves how this could or could not affect them.
I’ll also add some of my own final thoughts at the end. I want to try and get this out to everyone so I am going to continue by starting exactly where I was in the article I mentioned I had started when all of this came to light. I’ve thought about it and if I’m completely wrong then it’s only my reputation that takes the hit. But everyone needs to realize this is exactly the same process that comes into play when I pass on info that leads to my “takes” that work out (for the most part) or doesn’t (lol).
So we pick up with…
PIT SS Sean Davis: 2nd year
If I had written this “take” on Davis a week ago this would have been a lot easier to do. And it also possibly could have ended up being wrong. Things are a little cloudy as a couple of things have happened recently. One is that there are reports that Davis has been struggling with some injuries thru camp and the second would be that the Steelers just traded for J.J. Wilcox from the Buccaneers. I personally did a “take” on Wilcox when the Buccaneers signed him to a nice contract back in the off season. I like him coming off his best season last year for Dallas. But indications are that Wilcox was finding it hard to find his niche in Tampa Bay as the team’s former and current starters stepped up their games. Not to mention the fact that they also drafted Justin Evans this year.
These things seemed to have made Wilcox and his hefty contract expendable. If none of this would have come into the light I would call Davis a hold and enjoy this player for 2017 and this summary would have pretty well ended there. But now we have to examine the situation as it is now and see if we can come to a conclusion of what is going to happen with an open mind.
To cloud this situation more I looked up FS Mike Mitchell’s contact on spotrac.com
and I see this: “Potential Out: 2017, 3 yr, $15,070,220; $3,527,500 Dead Cap”
The reason to look even deeper and at Mitchell’s contract was knowing he signed a hefty contract a few years ago and that as solid as he has been for the team he is replaceable.
Now visiting the Steelers website to look at the depth chart and examine who they have now.
***Here is where I stopped in my tracks and decided there’s possibly something happening. Note that Mike Mitchell is only listed at the bottom left of the page under “Not participating as of August 27th, 2017”
Source: Steelers Depth Chart
Lets touch on some recent articles here:
Wilcox To Pittsburgh
This next one shines:
And one more taking Note of the Levon Bell contract (reported 1 yr, $12 million):
Now let’s get to the conclusion of what I “read” with all this information.
1. Injured safeties
2. Mitchell will have the 7th highest contract for the Steelers (currently 6th before Bell signs) And that is a massive contract for any team for a replaceable free safety with an “out” clause this year.
3. Bell about to sign $12 million tag.
4. Wilcox traded for instead of a waiver claim. To make sure they get him to feel a need? With a solid but cheaper contract than Mitchell.
— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) September 4, 2017
I believe we can either see Mitchell put on injured reserve or we see him out right released. I doubt we see him be traded with the current contract. What does this mean? I could see it meaning that If this plays out Sean Davis (if healthy), J.J Wilcox, and possible either Robert Golden and/or Jordan Dangerfield all coming into play in 2017 for the Steelers.
My guess and how I would approach this if I needed to would be the following.
I think Davis has the range to play the free safety spot and the know how to run the 2ndary from that position at this time of the year.
I also think that J.J. Wilcox will be inserted as a box type safety to help stop the run at strong safety. I think this because he is more athletic than Golden. This will hinge a lot on Wilcox’s ability to pick up the playbook. But he has years of experience and playbooks can be simplified for the Strong safety as he can be directed into position by other defensive players.
I believe Mike Mitchell is about to be done in Pittsburgh and we may not see him anywhere in 2017.
Bold I know, but is it really? I’ve laid out my “tea leafs” and this is how I read them. If it isn’t exactly this scenario that plays out I’d still say it could be within reason that it will be close to it.
I’ll let everyone make up their own mind as I have no suggested way to handle what I’m putting out here. But I will add, best of luck to whoever may own these players mentioned.
Oh, and Sean Davis is a hold for 2017
Tuesday Morning Updates
While given the chance this morning wanted to throw in some up dates since writing the article.
Wilcox received first team reps (already). Mitchell was a practice, status unknown.
Safety Dangerfield released. Could return.
My “take” Update:
I still believe Wilcox will come into play for the season. I also still feel that there is a good possibility that Mitchell doesn’t. I’m still staring at the contracts. Either Way this goes down over the next few weeks I still can see Mitchell not being with the Steelers in 2018. That “hunch” remains with the wording of the Mitchell contract and the dead money details going forward.