Steelers need to think about trades

PITTSBURGH — The NFL trading deadline usually passes with scant interest among Steelers fans.

This year is different.

Patrick Peterson, cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals, has made it known he would like to be traded before the Oct. 30 deadline.

This would make perfect sense for the Steelers for a number of reasons:

n Peterson is a good player and would represent a significant upgrade over players the Steelers currently have manning the position.

n The Steelers appear to have a Super Bowl-capable offense that will only get better if Le’Veon Bell ever shows up. The defense is iffy at best, especially in the secondary.

n Thanks to Bell’s absence to this point, the Steelers have the salary cap room to handle Peterson’s contract, which includes two seasons beyond this one.

n Peterson is 28 years old, so he’s in his prime.

n Cornerback Joe Haden’s contract expires after this season, so acquiring Peterson would have potential benefits beyond this season.

All that said, a deal that would be logical probably won’t happen for these reasons:

n The Cardinals say they don’t play to trade Peterson. OK, but maybe a really tempting offer could change that feeling. After all, why does Arizona want an unhappy player on the roster?

n A tempting offer would probably include a first-round draft pick. The Steelers haven’t traded away their first pick in 40 years. They’ve made deals within the first round, moving up or down, but they haven’t let the first round pass without making a pick. Trading top picks is one reason they were so lousy in the 1960s.

n Peterson would be tasked with learning a new defense on the fly. The bye week has passed, so there’s no real time to catch up. Perhaps that would negate some of his talent.

n The Steelers don’t make a lot of trades, they make fewer in-season trades and they certainly don’t make blockbuster deals during the season.

Adding Peterson could improve the Steelers’ chances of getting to the Super Bowl. The clock is ticking on Ben Roethlisberger’s career, so every season counts.

Still, don’t look for it to happen. It’s just not the way they traditionally do things.

Series pick

We’re on the honor system here, so trust me: This is being typed before a pitch has been thrown in the World Series.

My pick is the Boston Red Sox in six games.

But what do I know?

SUBHEAD: Starting over

Duquesne announced a new plan for the on-campus A.J. Palumbo Center.

The venue, which opened in 1988, was under-built from the start. Adults don’t want to sit on bleachers.

They’re going to gut the whole building and redo it with suites, comfortable seats, practice facilities for a variety of sports, and academic space. It will have multiple uses beyond hosting basketball games.

The project is expected to cost $45 million, and the building will get a new name — the UPMC Cooper Field House. The mens and womens basketball teams will play their games off campus next season, mostly at the PPG Paints Arena.

The new building is supposed to be ready for the 2020-21 basketball season. Capacity will remain just over 4,000. A lot of those seats are empty for Duquesne games these days.

The idea is to fill them. Having seat backs should help.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

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