By: TJ Jenkins, Sports Jabber Co-Owner, Pittsburgh Steelers Blogger
Last season saw Ted Ginn Jr. watch his playing time decrease in the Miami Dolphins run heavy, pass when you must, offense. Then again, his role in the system could have dropped simply because of the eight prominent drops that he had a year ago.
Word around the NFL is that Ginn can be had and be had cheap. Santonio Holmes cheap.
Which, could or could not be the right price for our very own Pittsburgh Steelers. And in all technicalities we wouldn’t have to give up anything more than the fifth round pick that the team received from the New York Jets for troubled receiver Santonio Holmes.
Of course, directly swapping the two receivers (Ginn and Holmes) wouldn’t have been practical for the Steelers (then again, was getting rid of him for a fifth practical?) because of the enormous drop in the productiveness that’s found when comparing the two.
Ginn had less than 500 receiving yards, half of Holmes’ catches and five less touchdowns than the former Super Bowl MVP. But, on the flip side, he also comes with absolutely no off the field issues. He was just drafted too high for what he really is—a return man.
In the Steelers system, he could combine his efforts with the ever reliable Hines Ward, the new kid on the block Mike Wallace, the returning fan favorite Antwaan Randle El and the disappointing Limas Sweed. Looking at those, he’d easily be the fourth receiver on the depth chart and more than likely the first in line for the return man job.
Which brings me to another upside of Ginn—his ability to return the football, something the Steelers have been lacking since the departure of Randle El. They haven’t had a true return man that could be consistent and generate good field position and to be honest, Randle El wasn’t the most productive kick returner in the league either.
Ginn, on the other hand is completely dynamic when the ball hits his hands after the kick. He had nearly 1,300 yards on kick returns alone last year, scoring two touchdowns in the process.
That’s exactly what the Steelers special teams need—a stud to make them stand out in a good way, as opposed to the way that they’ve been standing out for the past two years.
The biggest competition the Steelers would have for Ginn could come from their AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. Even with the addition of Anquan Boldin rumors are that the Ravens are still looking to bolster that veteran receiving corps and Ginn could be the perfect speed threat to play in the slot in their offense.
Another team that could be interested is the Carolina Panthers, who are currently looking for someone to line up opposite of Steve Smith. Though Smith himself has said that he no longer wants to be the number one receiver, so they may opt to pick up a number one in the draft instead of giving up a pick for a return specialist.
So, why not Pittsburgh? Let’s essentially trade one Ohio State receiver for another. Let’s get in on the Ginn marathon and pick up someone that could give the team a dynamic return game and some more speed on the field.
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