The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2016 off season with close to a score of players reaching free agency, and no area is of greater concern than the offense line. The entire left side of their offense line is set to become free agents, as Kelvin Beachum seeks his second NFL contract and Ramon Foster seeks his third.
- The Steelers plans for managing that situation just got more complicated.
The emergence of Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle gave the Steelers a cheaper, cheaper option at left tackle with no injury history. The return of Mike Adams gave the Steelers some depth at tackle, at least on paper. One of the options the Steelers strong considered, based on numerous leaks to the press, was to resign Kelvin Beachum and move him to guard.
- Kelvin Beachum however is vetoing any sort of idea for the Steelers, or any other NFL team.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Mark Kaboly, who is reporting from Super Bowl 50, Kelvin Beachum assures that should the Steelers or any other team ask him to move to guard, Beachum’s response will be “I am not going to say anything. I am just going to look at them like they are crazy.”
- The Steelers drafted Beachum in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft and his versatility is what won him a roster spot.
While the Steelers drafted Beachum as a tackle, he entered the 2013 season as the team’s primary backup at all five offensive line positions as well as the team’s third tight end. That changed in a hurry when Maurkice Pouncey went down to injury, forcing Beachum to center, although he was soon relieving Adams at left tackle.
- Since then neither the Steelers nor Beachum have looked back.
Now, looking forward, it is harder to see a shared future from Beachum and the Steelers. While admitting that he would find it difficult to leave Pittsburgh, he also clearly signaled that he would consider other offers.
- In his video, Mark Kaboly concludes that his declaration effectively ends Beachum’s time as a Steeler.
Kaboly might be right, although Beachum has not uttered the dreaded “It’s not up to me” phrase. At this stage of the free agency cycle, agents coach players to make carefully calculated statements, and Beachum’s assuring Kaboly that his ACL injury will not impact his free agent status is a perfect example. Beachum’s tune could change if free agency approaches and his agent’s phone does not start to ring.
But the headline “Kelvin Beachum Nixes Move to Guard” does not bode well for a future in Pittsburgh that sees Beachum protecting Ben Roethlisberger‘s blind side.