As expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers restructured the contracts of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger’s restructure alone gained them 6 million dollars in salary cap space. With those two moves, in addition to the restructure of Lawrence Timmons, the Steelers are reportedly in compliance or close to compliance with the NFL salary cap.
Steelers Claim John Parker from Waiver Wire
In an apparent indication that the Steelers have in fact gained some wiggle room under the cap, Behind the Steel Curtain is reporting that Pittsburgh has claimed former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson off of waivers. Wilson has never played in an NFL game, but spent time with Atlanta and Jacksonville, mainly on the practice squads of those two teams.
Restructuring Done? Heads to Roll Next?
Earlier in the off season Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert warned that Pittsburgh was reaching the limits of its ability to restructure contracts, acknowledging that managing the salary cap by perpetual contract negotiation carries dangers, and saying that the Steelers would prefer to avoid reaching a point where they would need to blow the entire team up to stay under the cap.
The only other way for the Steelers to reduce their costs is by cutting veterans or getting them to agree to play for less money, something the Steelers have only seldom done (see Jerome Bettis.)
Willie Colon has long been suggested as a possible cut, although Colon would only save them 1.2 million dollars against the 2013 cap. The biggest X Factor involves James Harrison.
The Steelers want Harrison back, but at a lower cap number, and a restructure is not likely due to his age and injuries. That means that Harrison is likely to be cut if he does not agree to a reduced salary.