Mike Tomlin on trading Melvin Ingram: Better to have volunteers than hostages
When the Steelers signed linebacker Melvin Ingram this offseason, the intent was not to trade him for a late-round pick in November.
That’s what happened on Tuesday, though. Ingram was dealt to the Chiefs for a sixth-round pick in a move that had been brewing since last week and was set in motion by Ingram’s desire for more playing time. Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the team’s decision to make that trade at his Tuesday press conference.
Tomlin said that he enjoyed working with Ingram, but that things “just didn’t work out the way we envisioned, the way he envisioned” this season. Tomlin then fell back on a favorite line of his to further explain why the team was willing to make the deal at this point.
“What the team needs is first and foremost,” Tomlin said, via Jenna Harner of WPXI. “But from a team perspective, it’s better to have volunteers than it is to have hostages.”
As we saw during the Le’Veon Bell saga, the Steelers don’t trade every player who might like to be elsewhere but Ingram wasn’t deemed essential to their defense and any thoughts that they might need him down the line were trumped by the rewards of moving on from a player who wanted to move on.