The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to rid themselves of this offseason's free agent signing Melvin Ingram on Tuesday afternoon before the NFL's trade deadline. The Kansas City Chiefs stepped in to make the deal, sending a sixth-round pick back to Pittsburgh to acquire the Pro Bowl pass-rusher.
The trade on Tuesday brought Ingram's tenure with the Steelers to a premature end, after frustrations mounted over a lack of playing time in recent weeks. The 32-year-old hadn't played in more than 60 percent of the team's defensive snaps since Week 3, leading to a tenuous relationship.
Rather than force Ingram to stay somewhere that he wasn't happy, Pittsburgh decided to send him elsewhere.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the trade on Tuesday afternoon, sharing that he enjoyed working with Ingram over the past few weeks, but that the plan for him didn't exactly pan out through the first eight weeks.
"I enjoyed working with Melvin. It just didn't work out the way we envisioned, the way he envisioned..." Tomlin said,
Tomlin on Ingram: "I enjoyed working with Melvin. it just didn't work out the way we envisioned, the way he envisioned."
More on trading Ingram: "What the team needs is first and foremost. But from a team perspective, it's better to have volunteers than it is to have hostages."
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) November 2, 2021
">via Jenna Harner of WPXI.
The Steelers head coach then reiterated a message that he's conveyed in the past about having players on the roster who want to play in Pittsburgh.
"What the team needs is first and foremost. But from a team perspective, it’s better to have volunteers than it is to have hostages," Tomlin added.
Tomlin's approach to maintaining a roster has worked in the past, but he likely didn't envision having to trade a three-time Pro Bowler who just signed with the team this offseason.
With Ingram on his way out, the Steelers will need some way to strengthen their defensive front for the rest of the year. A report indicates they might be looking to add some depth on the defensive line before the trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m. ET.