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3 best landing spots for Pro Bowler David DeCastro in NFL free agency

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The Pittsburgh Steelers’ shocking decision to release six-time Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro after nine Hall of Fame worthy seasons shocked the masses.

It turns out that DeCastro, 31, has been dealing with nagging ankle and knee injuries over the past couple seasons. It’s led to speculation that the former first-round pick could hang them up.

With that said, the Stanford product is willing to give it another go in 2021 should these injuries not preclude him from playing. If that is indeed the case, here’s a look at three ideal destinations for the star offensive lineman.

New York Jets add David DeCastro to help protect rookie quarterback

david decastro signs with the new york jets
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) recovers a fumble and is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro (66) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

New York general manager Joe Douglas sought to fortify the team’s offensive line in front of rookie Zach Wilson by trading up for Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The USC product is slated to start at left guard. Even then, New York has a need at right guard with veteran journeyman Greg Van Roten not anywhere near a starter-caliber option.

That’s where DeCastro and his wealth of experience would come into play in Jersey. Despite some recent regression, he’d act as a major upgrade next to franchise left tackle Mekhi Becton — helping Wilson get off to a strong start in his career as a rookie.

Cincinnati Bengals steal David DeCastro from their division rivals

david decastro signs with the cincinnati bengals
Oct 22, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard David DeCastro (66) blocks at the line of scrimmage against Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 29-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It wouldn’t just be out of spite that DeCastro opts to sign with one of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ division rivals. It’s actually a perfect fit with Cincinnati pretty much running the same blocking scheme under offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as the Steelers utilize.

In terms of how a fit would look on the field, Quinton Spain started eight games at right guard for Cincinnati after being a mid-season acquisition from the Buffalo Bills. While Spain has similar experience as DeCastro (74 career starts), he’s nowhere near the same caliber player. Adding the six-time Pro Bowler next to recently-signed right tackle Riley Reiff would create an elite offensive line in front of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. It almost makes too much sense for Cincinnati.

Indianapolis Colts team Quenton Nelson up with David DeCastro

david decastro signs with the indianapolis colts
Nov 24, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro (66) against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Steelers won 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Wouldn’t this be an absolute blast? After just three NFL seasons, Nelson is wall on his way to becoming a first ballot Hall of Famer. That’s not hyperbole. He’s the single-best offensive lineman in the entire league right now. It’s just ridiculous how good the former Notre Dame standout is. Now, the idea of teaming Nelson up with David DeCastro in front of recently-acquired quarterback Carson Wentz has to be seen as appealing to general manager Chris Ballard.

Indianapolis must put Wentz in the best possible situation to succeed after a disastrous performance with the Philadelphia Eagles. Adding DeCastro to a line that already includes fellow former Pro Bowler Eric Fisher, Braden Smith, Ryan Kelly and the aforementioned Nelson would be all sorts of sexy. Get er done, Indy!