One day after saying good bye to Hines Ward, their franchise leading and future Hall of Fame wide receiver, the Steelers also decided to part ways with the best 3-4 defensive end in franchise history.
Ed Bouchette is reporting that Aaron Smith will not be back with the Steelers in 2012. Unlike Ward, Smith will likely begin, in Chuck Noll’s words, his “life’s work” as he has indicated that he has zero interest in playing elsewhere, which is most likely a sound decision, given his history of injury.
2008 was the last full season where Smith played healthy. Its no concidence that that was season in which the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII that year.
Chris Kemoeatu Also Cut
Ed Bouchetee is also reporting that the Steelers will cut Chris Kemoeatu. Kemoeatu was as sixth round pick in the 2005 draft. Possessing incredible size, Kemoeatu always tantalized.
However, he did not start until the 2008 season, after Alan Fanaca’s departure, and did a serviceable job as a starter over the next four seasons.
However by 2011 poor play and inane penalties landed Kemoeatu on the bench, and his release was widely anticipated.
With these latest moves, the Steelers have freed between 8 and 10 million dollars from the salary cap, which will allow them to sign their draft picks and give them a shot at resigning their own players and perhaps players from outside the organization.
Casey’s Turn at Bat?
If reports are correct, the Steelers have yet to finish their house cleaning. It is generally assumed that either James Farrior or Larry Foote will be waived in the coming days and, although Kevin Colbert’s comments at the scouting combine might indicate otherwise, Casey Hampton’s name has been mentioned as a possible cut.