Rated R Miami

First Call: Should Steelers look at Leonard Fournette? Rare national praise for Ben Roethlisberger – TribLIVE

About an hour ago

Monday’s “First Call” starts the week with rare pre-NFL Draft praise of Ben Roethlisberger from the national media. Could the Steelers target running back Leonard Fournette in a trade? More Jameis Winston to the Steelers chatter. And it appears that the Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan) doesn’t quite grasp the concept of social distancing.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have apparently put running back Leonard Fournette on the trade block.

Do the Steelers make sense as a destination? One outlet seems to think so.

“Pittsburgh is in win-now mode,” said Allison Koehler of Steelers Wire (USA Today). “Fournette fits the mold of the Steelers — he’s a three-down grinder who can catch out of the backfield and block. He’s the kind of proven feature back that the Steelers are looking for.”

Fournette had career-best totals for the Jags last season (1,152 yards rushing, 522 yards receiving). The Jaguars have until May 4 to exercise their fifth-year option on Fournette. He is reportedly set to make just more than $4 million in base salary next season.

For as good as Fournette may be, if the Steelers want a running back, they may be more inclined to pick their own guy in the draft if he is available where they want him, instead of giving up that pick for a player that is either going to need a fifth-year option in 2021 or is going to leave via free agency.

Plus, do the Steelers want to restructure any more deals to create space for a move like that now, or do they want to wait until the summer to potentially do that? Also, concerns exist about Fournette’s durability. He’s missed 11 games due to injury over his first three seasons.

If the Steelers want to get Fournette, he’d automatically upgrade the running game. By far. It’s a matter of what the Jaguars would want in return, including whether or not they are looking for picks this year or next. And would the Steelers be willing to massage the cap to get him in place?

Or they could just get a younger, cheaper version in the draft.

If the Steelers get beyond the third round without taking a running back, and they want to swing a package of picks together between this year and next to do a deal, that may be worth investigating.

For its part, JaguarsWire.com didn’t list the Steelers as a potential suitor. Here are four teams that are on the list.

Former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens) is now part of the NFL Network. He is not one of the national media types who is suggesting that the Steelers should get a quarterback in the draft. In fact, he says Ben Roethlisberger “is gonna shock some people.”

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com is the latest to join the “Jameis Winston to Pittsburgh” bandwagon. But he’s got two other teams on his list that could make sense.

Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker was playing in an “MLB: The Show” video game tournament with Philadelphia Phillies player Rhys Hoskins.

And he made an ill-timed bet.

Tucker told Hoskins he’d “name his firstborn son Rhys” if Hoskins hit a homer off of him.

No sooner were the words off of Tucker’s lips when …

What’s the baby’s middle name going to be? Rhys “Oops” Tucker?

Don’t worry, Cole. “Rhys” could work as a name for either a boy or a girl.

If you’re looking for live baseball, here you go! I give you a benches-clearing incident in the Chinese Professional Baseball League between the Fubon Guardians and the Rakuten Monkeys.

My goodness. The brazen disregard for those inside pitches! God, I miss baseball.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *