Tim Benz: So much for prioritizing Artie Burns’ confidence, or his option
Remember how we started yesterday’s “First Call” with Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert telling the world the team was hoping that struggling cornerback Artie Burns could regain his confidence?
Yeah, forget that.
Unless the organization thinks that refusing to pick up Burns’ fifth-year option is the best route to restoring confidence.
Steelers expected to decline CB Artie Burns’ fifth-year option, per sources. Burns was replaced in the starting lineup last year and is set to become a free agent in 2020 barring change before the May 3 deadline. Steelers are encouraged Burns can re-enter rotation this year.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 1, 2019
Seems like a strange tactic in terms of positive reinforcement, doesn’t it?
Not that this is the wrong move. Of course, the Steelers should refuse to offer the fifth-year option to Burns. He’s been a bust so far.
As a former first-round pick, Burns could’ve gotten a fifth year on his rookie contract. But, if indeed the organization refuses to do so before Friday is over, then it’ll simply be able to walk away from Burns after this year.
If they pick it up, Burns will make nearly $10 million in 2020.
Still, this would seem to be an inconsistent action from the franchise after its GM just concluded saying that the team is hoping to build a guy up after he has broken down.
If Burns is looking for optimism, there is some to be had. He likely won’t be dropping down the depth chart as much as initially anticipated.
With Steven Nelson getting signed as a free agent from Kansas City’s cornerback group, and the Steelers selecting Michigan State corner Justin Layne in the draft, it initially appeared as if Burns might not even make the team.
However, the Black and Gold failed to adequately address safety during the offseason. Coach Mike Tomlin stated Saturday that cornerbacks Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton might move to safety for depth reasons, or at least play there more often.
As a result, Burns wouldn’t be as severely displaced.
Maybe less could be more for Burns as he attempts to work his way back onto the field.