Steelers Could Emerge as ‘Viable Suitor’ for Ex-Pro Bowl RB, Says Analyst

Mike Tomlin Steelers

Getty The Steelers could target Melvin Gordon at running back.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could be targeting a veteran back to complement Najee Harris heading into the 2022 season.

According to Pro Football Network’s Dallas Robinson, the Steelers could emerge as a “viable suitor” for Melvin Gordon. Gordon has spent the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos, rushing for 1,904 yards and 17 touchdowns on 418 carries (4.5 yards per attempt).

“Despite his baseline numbers, Najee Harris hasn’t been very efficient this season,” says Robinson. “But who can blame him? The rookie has played more snaps (862) than any other running back in the NFL. Harris’ 84.8% snap share leads the league by a whopping margin, as no other RB has even topped the 70% threshold (Jonathan Taylor is second at 67.5%).

The Steelers didn’t provide any depth behind their starting running back this year, but that hasn’t always been their strategy. In 2015 and 2016, Pittsburgh had veteran DeAngelo Williams available behind workhorse Le’Veon Bell. Gordon could play a Williams-esque role in relief of Harris, limiting the latter’s snap count and potentially helping him become more effective.”

Why Gordon is Perfect Signing for Steelers

The Steelers rely heavily on their rookie running back to run the offense — as his percentage of snaps clearly indicate. While Harris obviously doesn’t have a lot of wear-and-tear at this stage of his career, Pittsburgh wants to avoid running their star runner into the ground — especially with Ben Roethlisberger on the verge of retirement.

Gordon isn’t young anymore (he’ll be 29 years of age in 2022), but he remains productive in a complementary role. Gordon spent the entire 2021 season splitting the backfield with rookie Javonte Williams as the Broncos led the league in rushing touchdowns (16).

While Gordon certainly won’t have a shortage of suitors — he ran for 918 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns to lead the Broncos in 2021 — he won’t be commanding “big” money on the market. There’s a de-emphasis in value on running backs. Despite his productivity over the past two seasons, Gordon will probably command less than the salary he’s earned over the past couple of seasons ($8 million per season, $13.5 million guaranteed).

With $45 million in cap space entering the 2022 offseason and 41 players currently under contract, signing Gordon to a contract below $8 million annually will be a bargain deal for Pittsburgh.

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Steelers Fans Flood Carlson’s Charities With Donations

Not long after Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson’s kicked the game-winning 47-yard field goal to eliminate the Los Angeles Chargers — and get the Steelers into the postseason — Steelers fans flooded Carlson with donations for charities he’s associated with.

The Raiders kicker took notice of Steelers fans’ contributions and thanked them over his social media account.

“@steelers please thank your fans who are generously donating to charities I’ve been involved with!,” said Carlson. “I’ll add some links below for any others who would like to join in on the fun! PLAYOFFS!!!”

Had Carlson missed the kick, the game would have ended in a tie. If that was the case, both the Raiders and Chargers would have it to the postseason, leaving the Steelers out of it.

Carlson may not be a member of the franchise, but he’ll forever go down as a hero in Steelers lore.

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