Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Oct 2013

Steelers Send Conditional Pick to Arizona for Levi Brown

The Steelers have been looking for an elite left tackle for a long time ... and now they still are.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 02 Oct 2013

19 comments, Last at 05 Oct 2013, 4:01pm by Mr Shush


by theslothook :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 2:02pm

OMG - What was kevin Kolbert thinking? I Would be surprised if Levi even finishes as a starter after 6 weeks.

by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 2:04pm

Maybe it's the Todd Haley love connection with Brown? (Haley was in ARI when Brown was drafted, right?)

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 8:11pm

Not just Haley, or for that matter Bruce Arians, who's reuniting with Mendenhall now--it seems like Pittsburgh and Arizona exchange former players and coaches more than anyone in the league.

Cleveland/Philadelphia recently might come close.

by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 2:03pm

Arians gets a point for recognizing that Brown is not anybody's idea of a starting left tackle.

However, that seasonally-appropriate scream of horror that you hear is Carson Palmer realizing that his blind side will now be protected by someone who was not capable of beating Levi Brown out for a starting job.

by Theo :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 2:36pm

Whooo hooo!!
Super Bowl here we come!!

Well... can the guy play on the right side or on the inside? Yes? Good. We need some depth.

by Guido Merkens :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 2:54pm

Steelers fans - how is Ramon Foster doing at guard this season? Levi Brown seems like a pretty good run blocker at times, he's just completely incapable of blocking edge rushers. Maybe the Steelers traded for him with the idea of moving him inside to kick-start their power run game with Bell.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 5:52pm

People will mostly tell you Ramon Faster is just a guy. Those people have watched the Steelers offensive line too much and now consider the average lineman to be awful. Ramon Foster is bad. His greatest asset is that he isn't a complete trainwreck, but only a garden variety poor player.

by drobviousso :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 4:55pm

As someone on twitter today said, the Steelers should be selling, not buying.

by Subrata Sircar :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 6:39pm

I disagree that the Steelers should be selling. On this season, probably - which is why picking up Monroe doesn't make sense - but Big Ben is going to get old fast playing behind this line; their window is likely only open for two more seasons at best. Anything that keeps him from taking more of a pounding is probably worth a late-round pick that wasn't making the team anyway.

Whether that's Levi Brown is a different matter. On that note, btw, assuming we get Pouncey back, it seems like we'll have Pouncey and DeCastro, then Mike Adams at right tackle and Maurice Gilbert backing up. Ideally, we'd finish badly enough to draft Taylor Lewan and install him at LT - pipe dream, probably, but why not? - that seems like an actual O-line - maybe even a good one, if Lewan can be Jake Long 2.0 as he is at Michigan.

by Mash Wilson :: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 9:48pm

Thought exercise: How much would Roethlisberger bring back in a trade, right now? (Assume for the purpose of the question that his contract is tradeable.)

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 2:46am

He's basically Carson Palmer.

So, it depends on who's buying.

by Lebo :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 5:32am

I think that the only two teams that might be interested in Big Ben are likely to be:

A left-field very long-shot might be the Texans. That is to say, I think that swapping Shaub for Big Ben on the Texans would be very interesting. But I doubt that Kubiak gives up on Shaub this season.

by JohnD (not verified) :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 1:04pm

You don't think the Jags would jump at the chance, or have they dropped so far off the radar that they don't enter anyone's thought process anymore?

by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 1:12pm

For the Jaguars to trade for Roethlisberger when they can pick Bridgewater, Boyd or Johnny Football in next year's draft would be a waste. This season is unsalvageable for them. The only point of starting over with a beat-up 31 year old quarterback instead of one of those three, is that Jadveon Clowney is that good. Even then, they might be able to get Manziel in the second round next year.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 2:26pm

Chiefs, Bears, Browns, Ravens, Cardinals. Maybe the Titans, Bengals, and Rams.

by Lebo :: Sat, 10/05/2013 - 8:10am

How much it would cost to trade for Big Ben?

I'm guessing (and I could be way off the mark) that it'd cost a first rounder. Maybe a little more. And whatever the cost, I definitely think you'd pay a premium if you're an AFC North team.

Rams: I think that the Rams, with their extra first round pick, could be a possibility. Especially if Bradford doesn't improve much this year.
Cardinals: And I think that the Cardinals are a stronger possibility. Especially given that Arians is coaching there.

However, I don't think any of the other teams appear to be realistic trading partners at the moment:

Chiefs: Are performing well (so far) with Alex Smith.
Bears: I don't think Big Ben is enough of an upgrade over Jay Cutler to offset the opportunity cost of not drafting a new player or two.
Titans: Jake Locker seemed to be starting to perform well before his injury.
Bengals: I don't think the Bengals would stump up the draft picks to replace their third-year quarterback who has taken them to the playoffs twice with a player with a more limited shelf-life.
Browns: Before Hoyer got himself injured I would have written-off the Browns as a possible trade partner too. I still think the cost of the trade would be prohibitive. And I imagine that they'd rather one of the talented young quarterbacks in next year's draft rather than a beat-up quarterback with maybe seven more years in the league. Although, if they keep winning, they might not be able to draft one of those quarterbacks. Although, if they keep winning, they might not need one of those quarterbacks or Big Ben.
Ravens: I don't think that the Ravens, having just given a boat-load of money to Flacco thereby being unable to keep a raft of their own veterans, would give up the opportunity to draft multiple cheap, young players in order to acquire a veteran quarterback. Plus, they just gave Flacco a boat-load of money. I can't see them getting rid of him this year or next.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Sat, 10/05/2013 - 1:42pm

Okay, so I kinda of forgot about Flacco's big contract. I can't say I disagree with any of your analysis. If Roethsberger were up for trade I wouldn't bet that any single one of those teams would make an offer. But I think a majority would at least have an interest.

For the Texans, Chiefs, Titans, Bears, and Bengals I think it very much depends on how close they think they are to a championship run this season. Roethlisberger is a step up (the size of which varies by team) at the key position, and if you think this is your year you have to at least think over your options.

The rest of the teams have guys who probably aren't ever going to develop beyond mediocre. Enter the complex calculus of weighing the remaining years of an expensive star against the possibility of their being a comparable player in the draft and you being lucky enough to guess who it is and have him available at your pick.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 10/05/2013 - 4:01pm

The Texans are still committed to Schaub. I'm increasingly convinced that's a mistake, but they are.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 6:31am

Yeah, this Texans fan would love it to happen, but I really don't think there's any chance at all.