Steelers take minimal risk with Levi Brown

October, 3, 2013
10/03/13
7:57
AM ET
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The Steelers have seen enough from Mike Adams at left tackle that they traded for a player who at least gives them another option at the position. The Steelers did not want to move Marcus Gilbert from right tackle to the left side of the offensive line so they acquired Levi Brown from the Arizona Cardinals.

Brown, the fifth overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft, signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Cardinals in 2012 but that was under a different regime. New general manager Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians were so eager to dump Brown that the Cardinals were willing to pay the bulk of what is owed to Brown this season.

The deal was a no-brainer for the Steelers since it came at a minimal cost. The question is will it solve the Steelers’ problems at left tackle? Brown never lived up to expectations in Arizona, and if he supplants Adams the Steelers could just be replacing one underachiever with another.

Adams took his perceived demotion in stride and did not make any excuses for his play, which coach Mike Tomlin said has been “below the line.” The Steelers’ second-round pick in 2012 said he believes he is still part of the team’s future, and the trade allows Pittsburgh to part ways with Brown after the season without taking a significant salary-cap hit.

Brown will have a couple of days to get acclimated to a new city, organization and playbook before his first practice with the Steelers.

The Steelers’ players are off until Monday because of the bye, and at least one of them isn’t going anywhere because he doesn’t feel like he has earned a break with the team 0-4.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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