Since the news broke of the Washington Commanders' intention to not pick up Chase Young's fifth-year option in April, numerous teams have been linked to a potential trade for the Pro Bowl defensive end.
One team that has come up as of late has been the Pittsburgh Steelers. Various sources
have confirmed the Steelers interest in Young. One such source, confirmed yesterday that the team has been doing their "homework" regarding the possibility of adding him to their roster.
The bigger question in this case is: what would such a move mean for linebacker Alex Highsmith? After finishing last season in the top 10 in sacks and quarterback pressures, there have been talks this offseason of signing him to a long-term contract. With a little over $15 million in salary cap space, one would have to wonder how feasible it would be to add Young to the roster while signing Highsmith to a long-term deal.
Even if this were possible, where would the former Heisman Trophy finalist fit within the defense? What is certain is that he has the talent to be a starter on any team; the question surrounding Young is his durability. In 2021, Young suffered a season-ending ACL injury. This past season, Young was placed on the Commanders' PUP list and played in just three games that season.
The other aspect to consider is the Mike Tomlin factor. In a viral video from NFL Films, Tomlin was extremely complimentary of Young. It is no secret that Tomlin has been a fan of Young since his days at Ohio State. The possibility of adding a man of his talent may be too tempting to pass up.
This offseason has been one in which the general manager, Omar Khan, has left little stone unturned. If someone like Young represents the missing piece to a potential Super Bowl run, fans should not be surprised if they are willing to spend the assets necessary to make the move a reality.