Pittsburgh Steelers fans learned on Monday that their team has signed a new offensive lineman, but those who paid attention to Reddit over the weekend would have found out sooner.
Rashaad Coward, who was previously a restricted free agent with the Chicago Bears but was not tendered, has agreed to a deal with the Steelers. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media passed the news along, but he was actually scooped by a Reddit user.
On Sunday, someone with the user name ProbationOfficer2035 authored a post titled “Possible trade coming between the Bears and Steelers.” He explained that he was playing the popular video game “Call of Duty: Warzone” and got paired up with a woman he could hear talking with her husband about a “deal.” She didn’t provide detailed information, but she said her husband is an NFL player.
“Then something was said about he would love to play in Pittsburgh,” the Reddit user wrote. “I tried to ask the girl for info but she felt a bit awkward when I asked if she could tell me who her husband was. All she would say was that it was her husband being loud in the background and that he’s an NFL player.
“Anyways, he currently plays in Chicago (I did look up her gamertag which is linked to her twitch/IG and she is wearing bears gear in some pics). The last thing I heard was that if no one else calls within the next 30 minutes he’s gonna sign a 3 year deal in order to facilitate the trade because he would love to be in Pittsburgh. I know this is big speculation, but I heard what I heard.”
You heard correctly, my friend. There was no actual trade, but Coward was a restricted free agent. That’s probably why it sounded more like a trade than a straight free agent signing.
We saw two years ago with Kawhi Leonard’s free agency how big of a role Reddit can play in the sports media world. This was just a case of a gamer being in the right place at the right time, but it makes for a pretty great story.