In the NFL it’s important to always expect the unexpected. That theory was tested on Thursday, June 24 when the Pittsburgh Steelers sent shockwaves throughout the NFL landscape with a blockbuster move.
According to multiple reports, long-time former Steelers’ first-round pick David Decastro was released by the team.
Texting a person close to the situation their response was, “I’m shocked, didn’t see this one coming.”
The former six-time Pro Bowler has been a staple in the Steelers trenches for over nine years. During that span, Decastro only missed 19 games and played in at least 14 games every year from 2013 through 2019.
The former Stanford stud had recently been dealing with ankle issues. Prior to the 2020 season, he had ankle surgery and has continued to “battle issues with it for some time.”
Although when healthy, Decastro has proven to be one of the best guards in all of football.
Time for the Jets To Make a Move
The New York Jets offensive line is improved from last season, but that isn’t saying much. They struggled in all facets and forced the front office to hit the reset button this offseason.
More than a month away from training camp, the green and white have a huge opportunity to upgrade the weakest part of their team.
The right guard position is an absolute cluster:
- Greg Van Roten
- Alex Lewis
- Cam Clark
- Tristen Hoge
- Dan Feeney
None of these players have inspired much confidence that they can hold down the fort. Now the NFL gods have dropped an amazing gift here in late June.
Decastro has plugged the right guard spot for the Steelers for the better part of a decade. He has made six consecutive Pro Bowls from 2015 through this past season in 2020. Even with that impressive track record, he’s only 31 years old and still has plenty left in the tank.
The Jets have the second-most cap space in the NFL with over $32M. It’s time to push those chips into the middle of the table.
General manager Joe Douglas is a former offensive lineman himself. He realizes the importance of trench warfare and should act on those instincts.
Decastro would step in from day one and end the right guard competition before it even truly got started.
Oh Wait, There’s More?
With the amount of money the Jets have at their disposal, they wouldn’t have to stop there. Douglas could turn his Jets cap backward and add another talented offensive lineman in Morgan Moses.
Can you imagine that offensive line:
- Mekhi Becton at left tackle
- Alijah Vera-Tucker at left guard
- Connor McGovern at center
- David Decastro at right guard
- Morgan Moses at right tackle
Those two additions would immediately make the Jets a top 10-15 unit in the NFL. Simultaneously those moves would also increase the overall depth of the Jets’ offensive line.
George Fant would revert to his swing tackle role that he served during his time with the Seattle Seahawks. That would provide Gang Green with a great insurance policy just in case Moses or Becton dealt with any injuries in 2021.
Plus all the guys we talked about earlier that are battling for that right guard spot would become a wall of interior depth behind the starters.
The Jets have preached this offseason that they want to do for Zach Wilson what they never did for Sam Darnold. By surrounding him with this offensive line on top of the massive upgrade to his supporting cast (Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Keelan Cole), the former BYU stud would be in a perfect position to become the quarterback we all think he can be.
What Kind of Impact Could the Former Steelers Stud Make?
Just think back to 2008 when the green and white added former Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Famer Alan Faneca. He immediately stabilized the offensive line and reiterated the “ground-and-pound” mentality on 1 Jets Drive.
Those were the glory days for Gang Green and now Decastro offers an opportunity for this team to jump back in time to potentially re-live those precious moments in the AFC Championship game.
It’s worth noting that Decastro may have already played his last snap in the NFL this past season. The rumors floating around suggest the long-time Steelers legend could simply decide to hang his cleats up and retire.