NFL rumors have surrounded Stefan Wisniewski. Since he’s one of the better centers left in free agency, several teams are said to be interested in acquiring the Penn State Nittany Lions star. According to NBC Sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers are said to be interested in signing Wisniewski. While it’s true that the Steelers have one of the best centers in the NFL in Maurkice Pouncey, the team has some concerns about his availability, so they’re adding depth.
Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers did not have the luxury of having Maurkice Pouncey on the field. He suffered a broken leg and was forced to miss the entire 2015 season. As the leader of the Steelers offensive line, both the passing and rushing games suffered a bit due to his absence. Cody Wallace filled as the starting center, but Pittsburgh did not see enough in him to neglect the position going into next season, as Pouncey might not be able to take part in training camp just yet.
Fortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers, durability is a strong point for Stefan Wisniewski. Last season, he started every single game for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Prior to that, he started every single game that he played with the Oakland Raiders since they drafted him. That type of durability is rare to find in the NFL, so it makes sense that coaches and executives place a higher value on players like Wisniewski.
Once Maurkice Pouncey is healthy again and read reclaim his spot as the starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Stefan Wisniewski is headed to the sidelines. During his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders, Wisniewski was the starting left guard. He has enough versatility to play with Pouncey. Wisniewski might even be able to start at right guard if that’s what the Steelers need him to do.
Since they lost Alex Mack to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, the Cleveland Browns might provide competition for the Pittsburgh Steelers when it comes to signing Stefan Wisniewski. Mack is one of the best centers in the NFL, so the Browns are going to expect a major downgrade on their offensive line next season. Someone like Wisniewski can help soften the blow by taking over.
Aside from being a much more prestigious NFL franchise that has a chance to compete in the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers have an advantage over the Cleveland Browns in their pursuit of Stefan Wisniewski. The 27-year-old center was actually born in Pittsburgh. He also played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions, which is not too far from where the Steelers play. Location can be an important factor for certain players in the National Football League.
The advantage for the Cleveland Browns is that they have Hue Jackson as the head coach. Aside from being very well respected around the NFL, Jackson and Stefan Wisniewski already have a relationship. Hue was head coach of the Oakland Raiders when Stefan first came into the National Football League in 2011. Jackson was the one that believed in him enough to give Wisniewski the starting left guard spot. Something like that matters to players as well.
If you look around the various stadiums in the NFL, you’re not going to find a ton of Stefan Wisniewski jerseys around. You’ll also be hard pressed to find them in whatever city that he is playing for. Wisniewski isn’t that popular of a signing. However, he is someone that can help the offensive line. The Pittsburgh Steelers already have a dangerous offense powered by Ben Roethlisberger. If defenses can’t get to him because of guys like Wisniewski, then they become even more dangerous.
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