Steelers’ Super Bowl window could close after 2024 season

The Steelers may have to win the Super Bowl before the 2025 season or it may be too late

So when I say the Steelers’ Super Bowl window could close after the 2024 season, here’s what I mean by that statement: Cam Heyward, our former first-round pick in the 2011 draft, five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro Selection, will turn thirty-five.

It’s also no coincidence that according to Heyward’s contract will expire after the 2024 season. Does that mean we won’t be re-signing him for either a new contract or a contract extension? ? Of course not, but what type of player will he be then?

Will he still start at a high level or will he be relegated to a substitute role due to his age and the ‘wear and tear’ associated with playing in the trenches? I sure hope it’s the first and not the second.

After the 2024 season, the Steelers will still boast TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the defensive end of the ball, but who will become the next Heyward, that is, who can replace the productivity we’ve grown accustomed to seeing? from Heyward?

Steelers defense could be tested like never before after 2024 season

Of course, this is just speculation on my part. As far as I know, we could draft Heyward’s replacement within the next two years, but honestly if you look at the current Steelers roster, we have a lot of inexperience and question marks along the defensive line. .

If Heyward is out for a while, who could replace not only his productivity but also his leadership? The leadership aspect of things would fall to Watt and Fitzpatrick, but, again, who on the list can duplicate Heyward’s productivity?

I’m sure players like Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal will do their best to step up and I’m sure others will too, but, again, no one currently named Heyward can play at the same level. he plays and has played on his career.

Of course, there is the other side of the ball. I don’t think you can talk about the Steelers’ Super Bowl window closing after the 2024 season without talking about the offense. Frankly, I have no idea what to expect from the Steelers offense this season or the next two seasons, for that matter.

We’ve always been a franchise built around strong defence. I think it’s been difficult to sign players who fit our scheme and can excel in our scheme. It’s one thing to recruit a player or sign a free agent, but it’s another thing that this player excels.

Heyward has excelled in our program like others, but I’m afraid once his contract expires we won’t be able to find a suitable replacement, assuming of course we don’t re-sign him. It reminds me a lot of when the majority of the Steel Curtain retired.

The Steelers found it difficult to replace these legendary players. We reached the AFC Championship game in 1984, but we didn’t see another Super Bowl appearance until 1995.

It then took us another decade to win our fifth Super Bowl, then another three seasons to win our sixth Super Bowl, but we haven’t won one since the 2008 season. This year, the Steelers go fourteen seasons without an appearance in the Super Bowl, assuming we don’t do it this year.

It’s been an incredibly long Super Bowl drought, at least as far as the Steelers are concerned. Hopefully we can make it happen while we still have Heyward’s services.

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