A Steelers-Saints trade to fix Pittsburgh’s CB problem once and for all

Marshon Lattimore to the Pittsburgh Steelers can set the New Orleans Saints up for future success. Let's take a look at what a trade involving the star corneback could even look like.
Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints
Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

At some point, teams like the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers have to decide who they are and what they want to do. New Orleans might be the third-best team in the division, having not made the NFC playoffs ever since Drew Brees retired. That was over three years ago. Pittsburgh is probably the third-best team in its own division, but the AFC North is forever ultra-competitive.

It may not be a deal the Saints will want to make, but they have to at least consider it. For the Steelers, this is a short-term answer to be more than a 10-7 football team. Trading for Saints star cornerback Marshon Lattimore is not going to change the entire game for the Steelers, but his arrival does make them a better team. Conversely, the Saints could get quite the haul for the defensive back.

Here is a rough estimate of what may be required to get Lattimore from the Saints to the Steelers.

Lattimore to Stillers

Since Lattimore carries a $19.4 million APY, the Steelers will need to send the Saints a package of roughly similar value. A first-round pick in 2023 may be too much for the Steelers to give up, but a second and third-round pick this year at No. 51 and No. 84 respectively, as well as a first-round pick, might do the trick. The difference in assets changing hands is chump change at a shade over $50K.

Let's discuss why the Steelers will want Lattimore, and why the Saints might be willing to deal him.

How to get Marshon Lattimore over to Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade

The financials make sense, so we may have ourselves a deal in the end. However, we have to look at why both teams may want to agree to this trade. For Pittsburgh, it is simple. The Steelers will never be bad enough to be picking in a range where they could be drafting the next Lattimore, so to speak. This will always be the case for as long as Mike Tomlin is their head coach. They will have to replenish.

By adding a player of Lattimore's caliber still in his prime, you can have him become the Steelers' No. 1 cornerback while having second-year-pro Joey Porter Jr. be an overqualified No. 2. Eventually, the Steelers will have to pay their legacy player, but they won't have to worry about that for a few years. If the offense is the least bit confident, maybe the Steelers go 12-5 to reach the conference title bout?

As for the Saints, they have to be reading the room, right? For as much of a talent Lattimore is, what good will he do for them sitting at home on his couch in the middle part of January? While Atlanta is on the rise, and Tampa Bay is still treading water atop the division quite well, it probably serves the Saints to sell high on key assets like Lattimore before it hits the fan under Dennis Allen this season.

The best thing the Saints can do is look at a different head coach in 2025, so they can run laps around Todd Bowles, Dave Canales and Raheem Morris in the second half of the decade. We are talking about three top-100 picks coming the Saints' way from the Steelers over the next two drafts. Conceptually, these three players they are getting for Lattimore will help the Saints win big by 2027.

A brief, but calculated rebuild will serve the Saints more than Pittsburgh adding a veteran cornerback.

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