PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is pretty set, but would adding another superstar to make a playoff run be on their mind if they looked like a contender early?
Michael Lombardi of the Daily Coach mentioned an interesting name during his appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. The former NFL front office member raised the question of whether or not the Los Angeles Rams would be interested in trading their biggest name – Aaron Donald – come the trade deadline, if they looked to be headed for a disastrous season.
"My question is if the Rams start off slow and they're headed for Caleb Williams in the draft..— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 7, 2023
Do they try and move Aaron Donald to a playoff team at the deadline" @mlombardiNFL #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/QsgOD9qvFv
This comes after Fox Sports’ Jason McIntyre made the bold prediction that the Rams would move on from Donald as they began a full rebuild next offseason.
“I can see them being one of the worst teams in the league, and thus they decide to pull the trigger and trade Aaron Donald, basically their only good defender,” McIntyre writes.
While every team in the NFL would be interested in adding Donald’s talents to their roster, the Steelers might be in a prime position to do so. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year grew up in Pittsburgh, attended Pitt and still returns each offseason to workout at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Even if he’s never been on the Steelers side of the facility, it’d be the easiest transition to move from one team to the next if he returned home.
For the Steelers, they have their starting defensive line in Cam Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi and rookie Keeanu Benton, but adding Donald should never be out of the question. Like many around the NFL, if the trade deadline came and they were in a position to make a run for a Super Bowl, why would you not at least try to add the best defender of a generation?
Donald’s career has been extraordinary and then some. He enters the 2023 season with nine Pro Bowls, 103 sacks and 160 tackles for loss, with just three seasons of less than 10 sacks – one coming in 2022 due to injury.
What it would take to acquire him is likely not cheap. The Steelers aren’t a team in trade trouble when it comes to their draft picks, though. They have as many assets as a team requests, with some limitations if things get out of hand. At that point, though, it may not be worth adding a 32-year-old defensive tackle.
Where he would play and how they would acquire him are answers that come when the time comes. But if Donald is on the market during the season, and the Steelers appear to be everything they’re hoping to be, they should certainly make a run to bring the seven-time All-Pro home.