Like most Steelers fans, I was stunned by the news of the Santonio Holmes trade yesterday. Not that he was traded, but that we only got a fifth round pick for him. I for one was always a Santonio fan, but I felt his time was up after the latest news that he would be suspended for the first quarter of the season due to failing the substance abuse policy.
We're the Steelers. We don't have room for players with issues on our team. That's the mantra most Steelers fans have. Steeler fans don't usually complain when we get rid of the problem child, but with Santonio's case, it's a different story.
I'm sure the organization wanted to send a message by getting rid of Holmes so quickly, but what message are they really sending?
Recently Santonio talked about how he thought the team didn't want to sign him to a long term contract and that he wanted to go to a big market. So what do the Steelers do? Trade him to a big market team that will more than likely sign him to a lengthy contract.
The Steelers wanted to send a message, but the only message they sent was that they're not the organization that we once thought they were. If you're a smart organization that cares about your team and your players then you don't just give in to the first offer out there and undervalue the player you’re sending off, no matter what legal problems he has. You still need to better your team and they could've easily got a fourth, if not a third round pick for him.
It's not the like the season was starting tomorrow. Why not come out and say, "We are placing Santonio Holmes on the trading block and he will not be part of the Steelers organization in the 2010-2011 season." Is that not sending a message? There's enough time to get a much better deal for him and then you get the point across, while also improving your team. The least they could've done was sent him to a crappy smaller market team like the Chiefs. At least this way he wouldn't have gotten his wish of going to a big market team.
The other issue that has arisen over the trade is all about race. Why would the Steelers trade Holmes and not talk about trading Roethlisberger? This has absolutely nothing to do with race, but has everything to do with position. You can get rid of a wide receiver and grab another one pretty easily that can fill the same role. With a quarterback it's a much different story. It's not as easy to just pickup a player that can fill the team captain's shoes and run the entire offense. This is the reason Santonio is gone and Ben is still in black and gold.
I think my biggest gripe with the Steelers is that we've been trained to believe that this is the exemplary organization that does everything the right way. We know how to draft, how to groom players into stars, and how to not have distractions on our team. All of these factors are supposed to be the reasons that we are winning organization.
This is complete garbage. The Steelers are like any other organization except when things start going bad they drop the baggage and run. I liken them to John Calipari.
Look at John Calipari. This is a coach that continually has violations incur at every school he goes to. He continues and sticks with the school until finally the shit hits the fan and then he books to a new job and is praised for turning every program he coaches into a winning team. The Steelers are the exact same way.
The Steelers have had many off the field issues. Jeff Reed had a disorderly conduct charge in Sheetz, Najeh Davenport got into a fight with the mother of his son, Cedrick Wilson punched his ex-girlfriend, James Harrison had a fight with his girlfriend, and there are others, including Ben Roethlisberger that I haven't even got to in the last few years. Aren't we supposed to be the role model for the NFL on how organizations should deal with troublesome players?
No. We just act like John Calipari and continue with these players and use them to better our team until finally it goes too far and then we get rid of them, just like Calipari jumps ship to another team. We're not role models; we're just a bunch of frauds.
If you really cared about the character of your team then you wouldn't draft players like Plaxico Burress or Santonio Holmes in the first place. Instead we're the team that supposedly can turn water into wine or a team cancer into a healthy and positive contributor. We're nowhere near the Dr. Phil's of football.
Now that this ridiculous player giveaway has occurred we should look at the Steelers and realized we've been duped. They don't care about the character of the team. They don't care about making the team better and getting a fair trade out of the deal. All the Steelers care about is making themselves look like they're the greatest organization in the NFL.
Am I going to change my allegiance of being a Steelers fan because of this? No. I will however hope that in the future that actually do what's best for the organization by either not drafting these players or getting something fair in return.
I want the Steelers to be the best organization the league. Not just act like the best organization in the league.