As the NFL’s most active free agent signing period is coming to an end, the Pittsburgh Steelers are finishing things in similar fashion to how they began – short on salary cap space.
Before free agency began only the Dallas Cowboys were more salary cap strapped than the Pittsburgh Steelers. The release of LaMarr Woodley, contract extensions of Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller, and a pay cut for Ike Taylor gave the Steelers some breathing space.
- That in turn allowed the Steelers to sign Carolina safety Mike Mitchell.
- They’d also like to sign a veteran running back, but there’s one hitch – they lack the cap space.
The Steelers have met with free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew whose outward asking price of 3.5 million per season is more than the Steelers will pay. The Steelers insist he’s still a viable option and if that’s true then Jone-Drew’s sticker price is little more than a ruse.
The Steelers also plan to meet with LeGarrette Blount, although another team that can give him more carries and more dollars is lurking out there.
Need to Clear Space
Either way the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to clear salary cap space to sign additional players. A contract restructure for Ben Roethlisberger is not in the offing at this point. Nor is a long-term deal with transition player Jason Worilds, imminent.
- That likely means another contract restructure, with the prime candidate this time being Lawrence Timmons.
Aggressive contract restructures in 2011, 2012, and 2013 are what caused the Steelers salary cap problems in the first place. However, the Steelers have restructured less and less each year, and the cap is set to increase.