When the NFL and the NFLPA finally agreed to the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), many teams, writers and fans alike knew that this would not be the typical offseason for any team in the NFL.
And, in most cases, they were right. Except with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When you look around the transaction wire of the NFL teams, you see stranger and stranger things happening across the NFL that makes you question if the lockout actually drove some teams to insanity.
Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, is a coach who normally watches what he does, builds his team through the draft and only brings in a questionable player if he believes that the rest of the locker room will be able to control him.
This year, he has traded not only for Chad Ochocinco (how funny would it have been if Aaron Hernandez would not have given up No. 85?), but they traded for Albert Haynesworth as well.
Yes, that same Albert Haynesworth who was a cancer at the end of his career in Tennessee. Yes, that same Albert Haynesworth who quit on the Washington Redskins after they paid him $60 million over three years.
What was Haynsworth's complaint? He didn't want to play in the 3-4 defense. What defense do the Patriots play? That's right, the 3-4 defense.
We have the Eagles, that did not sign a single free agent who had an expiring contract, but has made trades and free-agent signings that remind me of a Madden Franchise. But there are other teams across the league doing similar things, most of them anyway. One that is not? The Pittsburgh Steelers.
Prior to the lockout, the biggest questions facing the Pittsburgh Steelers were, who was going to replace Ike Taylor and what were they going to do with the offensive line?
During the NFL draft, the Steelers selected offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert out of the University of Florida in the second round. Gilbert is a player who played alongside of Maurkice Pouncey with the Gators.
Obviously, the Steelers had no interest in bringing back Willie Colon.
In the third and fourth rounds, the Steelers selected a CB out of the University of Texas, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen out of the Citidel. That would mean that the Steelers had no interest in bringing back Ike Taylor.
Well, wrong we all were, because as soon as teams were allowed to talk with players again, the Steelers' first order of business was to sign Ike Taylor to a four-year contract. Only two days later, the Steelers signed Willie Colon.
Since then, the Steelers have also brought back Daniel Sepulveda, and signed all of their draft picks.
In most cases in the NFL, teams are desperate to try to fill out their rosters so that the needs they had prior to the lockout can be filled.
The Steelers roster has already been filled—not with players from other teams, but with the people who will be able to come into camp, know what they are doing already, know the playbook already and will be ready to pick up where they left off at the end of the 2010 season.
The Super Bowl.