Well the Steelers got a new coach, possibly a new defensive scheme, and as it sounds tonight a new outside linebacker. Joey Porter is due a $1 million roster bonus if he makes it through next week. All reports are saying that Joey Porter is planning to holdout because he wants a new contract and wants to be paid like one of the best linebackers in the NFL. I have a feeling Joey Porter is going to have to come to a realization rather soon, you're not that good.
Ok lets rewind to last season. The Steelers made an unthinkable run. They came in as the lowest seed and ending up winning their fifth Super Bowl. Joey Porter was no doubt one of the key components to that team and to that defense. This year Joey Porter was good in the first game against the Dolphins. He had a couple sacks and an Int returned for a TD in the fourth quarter to help the Steelers win their opener without Ben. After that game Porter was pretty quiet right up until he got some stupid penalties on x-mas eve vs. Baltimore. Now I am not saying the Steelers would have won that game because they were dominated, but the unsportsmen like conduct penalties that selfish Porter got lead to a crucial score that put the Steelers down the dreaded two scores. The Steelers of course won their last game and had they won vs. the Ravens would have atleast made the playoffs. I'm not blaming Porter for that one loss, it is a team loss, but where was this superstar player the rest of the season. He pulled his best Casper impersonation.
So the Steelers brass has a lot of big decisions to make. For the first time that I can remember the Steelers lack solid depth at the LB position. Alonzo Jackson never panned out like he was supposed too and he was supposed to be Porter's replacement probably this season with Porter's bonus and hit against the salary cap. So what do the Steelers do with this Cowher guy. This fan favorite that once took a bullet right before the season opener?
Here's what the Steelers do. There probably isn't much of a trade market for Porter. He's in his 30's and is getting slower. Porter can probably only really play in the 3-4 scheme, and most likely would not be used on 3rd downs. The Steelers need to release him. If you hold on to him you waste atleast $1 million with the roster bonus, plus its believed he will holdout and a distraction like that is the last thing Coach Tomlin needs in his first training camp. The Steelers are very weak at linebacker but there are a couple replacements in free agency. Thomas and Arrington. Either would be an excellent replacement for Porter and if Arrington can stay healthy may be more productive then Porter. The draft is coming too. The Steelers have drafted offense the past 3 years, this year draft defense and take a linebacker. Losing Joey Porter will not cripple this team. Coach Tomlin had one of the best run defenses in Minnesota last year. Porter wasn't on that team. The Steelers need to think long term, who is the most important player on the defense. Troy Polamalu is entering the last year of his contract and he is the leader of the Steelers defense. He is priority!
So in closing, Mr. Porter its been a nice run. Much like Greg Lloyd and Jason Gildon before you, your hour glass has run out. They went elsewhere and weren't as productive. The Steelers kept on going without them. I could see you being productive for a year or two, but maybe you should consider joining CBS with Cowher and Sharpe. Then some real good discussions could occur.