Monday, July 25, 2011

NFL lockout ends

By Mike Batista

It's been almost exactly six months since we as Steelers fans played this in victory. The Packers stifled it on Feb. 2. Now, (via scifiradioguy) we have reason to break it out again.

The NFL lockout is over.

The season is saved.

If you're one of those people who has had nothing to read at the beach this summer because the Athlon NFL Preview you bought in June was useless, or if your friends thought you were the coolest dude ever because of your kickass Hall of Fame Game parties, you're shit out of luck.

For everyone else, it's time to dance in the streets.

Those Athlon guys are going to have to work around the clock to put this year's magazine together. Free agency starts at 10 a.m., Tuesday. That's when teams can sign rookies and negotiate with their own free agents and free agents on other teams. At 6 p.m., Friday, teams can sign free agents from other teams.

In my best Forrest Gump, here's all I have to say about that: The Steelers should re-sign Ike Taylor.

I know Taylor is 31, and the Steelers tend to let guys walk when they're on the north side of 30. But the Steelers are never going to have a championship window like they have now. As long as Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu are healthy, they have a chance to win the Super Bowl every year. But without Taylor, those chances aren't as good.

Not only is Taylor an elite NFL cornerback, he's the only decent one the Steelers got. Bryant McFadden hasn't been the same since his exile in Arizona. William Gay is a nickelback, nothing more. Supposedly Crezdon Butler, who was drafted in the fifth round last year, has potential, but who knows? I figure Keenan Lewis, drafted in the third round in 2009, will be handing in his playbook this summer.

The Steelers drafted Curtis Brown in the third round of this year's draft and Cortez Allen in the fourth round. It would be nice if one of these mid-round picks had a surprising Mike Wallace-like impact as a rookie, but with the lockout scuttling rookie camps, these guys already are behind.

This generation of Steelers already has won two Super Bowls, but they can win more, even if Taylor only has a couple of good years left.

Taylor or no Taylor, this much we know: There will be a 2011 season.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Ike is a must. Without him we get shredded. I think the late start gives us a huge leg up on all those teams with new coaches or coordinators trying to install new systems.