Steelers Urged To Pursue Major Offseason Trade

Chukwuma Okorafor, Steelers, NFL
Dec 18, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor (76) during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2024 NFL offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a few things to figure out with their roster. They have to figure out if Kenny Pickett is the answer at quarterback after he was essentially benched down the stretch of the season for Mason Rudolph, who helped the team win their last three regular season games to earn a playoff spot.

If Pickett isn’t the answer, or the Steelers want to give him a chance to sit and develop behind a veteran, stop-gap option, the team is going to need to open up some cap space. Acquiring quarterbacks is expensive and Pittsburgh is currently projected to be about $6.7 million over the salary cap.

There are ways for teams to adjust salary cap numbers, such as restructuring contracts. But, the Steelers could also identify players on the roster who are being paid more than their current role indicates that they should be.

NFL NEWS & RUMORS: Chukwuma Okorafor & Pittsburgh Steelers Updates

In the opinion of Noah Strackbein of Sports Illustrated’s All Steelers, one of those players is offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. Strackbein believes general manager Omar Khan should try and trade the former starting tight tackle.

“The former starter is just 26 years old and has two seasons of experience as their top right tackle,” Strackbein wrote. “Chances are, they can find a suitor for him via trade, landing them a draft pick while creating cap space.”

If the Steelers were able to find a taker for Okorafor on the trade market, they would save $8.75 million. While having an experienced swing tackle on the bench is an important part of a roster, Pittsburgh would likely be better off spending that kind of money elsewhere.

NFL NEWS & RUMORS: Chukwuma Okorafor & Pittsburgh Steelers Updates

The future of the tackle position belongs to Broderick Jones, the No. 14 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Okorafor admitted to making comments he shouldn’t have, which played a part in his role being changed after Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

From that point on Okorafor didn’t play more than three snaps in a single game. The Steelers have seemingly moved on from him as part of their plans in the trenches and should see if another team would be willing to take a chance on him, as he will be only 27 once the 2024 regular season begins.

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