Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Drops Shocking Revelation After Trading Melvin Ingram to Chiefs: ‘It’s Better to Have Volunteers as Opposed to Hostages’

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a far cry from expectations coming into the season and currently sit at 4-3. Nonetheless, the hope around the team and the organization seems to be encouraging, especially with how the past couple of games have gone.

But, that didn’t stop the team from navigating a trade before the NFL trade deadline. On Tuesday, the Steelers traded edge rusher Melvin Ingram to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 6th round draft pick after signing Ingram in the offseason.

Ingram’s time in the Steel City was short, but the former Pro Bowler expressed his desire to play elsewhere, something the Steelers granted almost right away.

However, head coach Mike Tomlin got honest after dealing Ingram to the defending AFC Champions and spoke some interesting words regarding the situation.

Melvin Ingram’s tenure with the Steelers is short-lived

This is a prime example of another player asking to be traded elsewhere after a short stint. Ingram explored free agency this past offseason and didn’t gain a ton of interest.

The Steelers brought him in, signing him to a one-year deal despite other interest from the Miami Dolphins and the Chiefs. So the Chiefs finally get their man and only have to give up a 6th-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ingram started just one game for the Steelers, totaling just five tackles and one sack. The writing was on the wall for a deal after Ingram publicly expressed his desire to head out.

It didn’t take long for the Steelers to find a trade partner, and now Ingram will head to the Chiefs in hopes of revitalizing a team amid massive struggles.

Mike Tomlin drops shocking revelation after deadline deal

Melvin Ingram and Steelers HC Mike Tomlin.
Melvin Ingram and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin | Timothy T Ludwig/Joe Sargent/Getty Images

After the trade announcement, Tomlin gathered and spoke to reporters on different things. However, the Steelers head coach once again dropped a gold nugget of a line. He got brutally honest about the team’s needs and fulfilling players’ demands, such as Ingram (h/t Ed Bouchette of The Athletic).

“What the team needs is first and foremost . . . But from a team perspective also, it’s better to have volunteers as opposed to hostages.”

Mike Tomlin after granting Melvin Ingram’s trade request

You can’t blame Tomlin, either. After all, this isn’t the first time he has dealt with this type of situation. Moreover, Tomlin did speak on his enjoyment of working with Ingram in their short time together.

It is difficult to find the right fit in free agency for both the players and the team perspectives, and this is yet another example. LaGarrette Blount and James Harrison are a couple of names to come to mind, and everybody knows about the Le’Veon Bell fiasco.

Nonetheless, Ingram is out, and the Steelers head coach doesn’t appear to be thrilled with how everything played out.

The Pittsburgh defense should have no problems overcoming the loss of Ingram

When the Steelers added Ingram in the offseason, the excitement arose. Pairing him next to TJ Watt was a great duo — on paper, at least. But Ingram did not live up to expectations by any means. Instead, it was Alex Highsmith who out-played Ingram.

The Pittsburgh defense is 8th in the NFL in sacks with 19. Most of that is thanks to Watt, who is 2nd in the NFL with 8.5.

As Tomlin mentioned the volunteers and hostages, it isn’t a surprise that Pittsburgh worked to grant Ingram’s request immediately and strike a deal during the deadline.

After a rough start to the year, the Steelers have turned it around and rattled off three straight wins, with two winnable games coming up against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. In what was a disappointing beginning of the year, perhaps there is hope in Pittsburgh after all.

Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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