ProFootballTalk There’s suddenly a left tackle arms race in the AFC North. After the Ravens made a move last night to get Eugene Monroe off the Jaguars, the Steelers are trying to keep pace. A league source tells PFT that the Cardinals have agreed to a deal that will send tackle Levi Brown to Pittsburgh. Pending a physical, the trade will happen. Jason La Canfora of CBS previously has reported that the two teams were “hammering out” a trade. The Steelers have clearly been dissatisfied with their tackle play all year, rotating Kelvin Beachum in for both Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians referred to Brown as an “elite” left tackle this offseason, but he must not feel that same way after a month of regular-season games.
In the second trade of an offensive tackle who was once a top ten draft pick and is still under the age of 30 in the last twelve hours, the Arizona Cardinals have shipped the fifth pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Levi Brown to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a package which I’m told includes multiple mid round draft picks.
Brown’s play has been very disappointing for the Cardinals this season, including in the season opening loss to the St. Louis Rams, when he surrendered 3.0 sacks to Robert Quinn. Brown missed the majority of the 2012 season with a torn triceps,which forced the Cardinals to start two rookies at tackle, Bobbie Massie and Nate Potter, and both played well in his absence. The Cardinals also have veteran tackle Eric Winston on their roster, so they should be fine without Brown, and may have made a savvy move to get something for him on the trade market.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are (0-4) and are clearly desperate for offensive line help, 2013 second round draft pick Nike Adams has struggled mightily, and had just lost his starting job to Kelvin Beachum. The Steelers have a bye week, so they will have time to get Brown up to speed with the offensive scheme, expect him to start at left tackle week five.
It seems like the trade market will be much more lively in the NFL this season, as several teams have been open to trading veteran players who are in the final year of their deals, in order to get something in return instead of losing them for nothing during the offseason.
UPDATE: The Jaguars are getting a fourth and fifth round pick in next years draft for Monroe, not bad, considering they were going to lose him this offseason and get nothing in return. The Jags are in desperate need of players and should be able to find contributors in the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2014 Draft.