Updated Oct 2, 2013 - 9:39 am
ESPN's John Clayton: Acquisition of Levi Brown 'curious' move for Pittsburgh Steelers
The proud franchise is 0-4 for the first time since 1968 and its offensive line has been a shambles.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times through the first quarter of the season -- the fourth-most in the league.
So in an attempt to shore up their protection, the Steelers traded for embattled Arizona Cardinals left tackle Levi Brown.
"It's a very curious move, because there's a panic at left tackle in the AFC North, a division right now that's off to a very bad start," ESPN NFL analyst John Clayton told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 620. "You saw the trade that was made (Tuesday) night with Eugene Monroe going all the way from Jacksonville to Baltimore and now Pittsburgh trying to do something to get their bad offensive line fixed.
"But of course, I still kind of scratch my head and say 'OK, are you really fixing it with Levi Brown?'"
Clayton believes this is a desperation move by Pittsburgh, who still isn't out of the AFC North race despite being winless. Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland are all 2-2 through four weeks of the season.
"Clearly the move is to get somebody who is accomplished on that offensive line to get something going," Clayton said.
Brown will now be reunited with Todd Haley, the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh who served in the same capacity with the Cardinals early in Brown's career.
"It does show that Todd Haley does have still a little bit of a vote because it's somebody he knows, so I guess you can say that organizationally, Todd Haley is still in the mix," he said.
Some may consider trading a starting left tackle heading into Week 5 as a "white flag" move -- one that signifies the team's realization that they're not going to compete for the postseason. Clayton doesn't think that's necessarily the case with the Cardinals.
"It's not like they're giving up on the season, I think that's pretty clear," Clayton said. "I think what it is, is they're trying to move a contract, because you can only have so many big contracts on a team and obviously Levi was making $30 million, and so they were able to move that contract and get some value for him.
"But also, you get it off the books. You don't have to worry about the proration down the line with the signing bonus and all that stuff."
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- The 5: Top storylines heading into Arizona Cardinals training camp
- Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson and Michael Floyd rank high on ESPN's list of top under-25 players
- ESPN: Arizona Cardinals loaded with under-25 talent
- Arizona Cardinals place Tyrann Mathieu and Alameda Ta'amu on PUP list
- Cardinals receive 'B' offseason grade from USA Today
- Bickley Blast - Thursday July 24What will the future hold for the Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald?
- Dr. Cynthia Arnson - Immigration and Central America Expert - Tuesday July 22Why are we seeing this influx of immigrant minors?
- Mike Sando, ESPN NFL insider - Tuesday July 22ESPN NFL insider Mike Sando gives updates from around the NFC West as teams head into training camp.
- Lorenzo Alexander, AZ Cardinals linebacker - Friday July 18Cardinals linebacker Lorenzo Alexander talks about team expectations for 2014.
- John McClain, Houston Chronicle sportswriter - Friday July 11Houston Chronicle sportswriter John McClain talks about the Rockets’ offseason.