The Pittsburgh Steelers made their first moves with an eye towards free agency by restructuring the contracts of Marcus Gilbert and Michael Mitchell. The team is also taking to Maurkice Pouncey about restrucring his deal too.
- While the Steelers are under the NFL’s estimated 140 million dollar salary cap, the moves created about 9.5 million dollars in cap space.
These contract restructurings would give the Steelers some breathing room, although they will still be one of the most cap strapped team’s in the league. In addition to the restructurings, the Steelers are expected to release some veterans, with Cam Thomas and Lance Moore’s name’s topping the list.
- Both men were signed a year ago, but neither panned out as hoped.
Cam Thomas proved to be a significant step down from Al Woods. Lance Moore’s progress was slowed by minor injuries. As a result, he began the season behind Justin Brown and ended the season behind Martavis Bryant. Moore made little effort hide his displeasure during the season and has publically asked for his release.
Steelers Making Move on Worilds?
While the Steelers are expected to extend the contract of Ben Roethlisberger this off season, they don’t need to do so for salary cap purposes as he is under contract for 2015.
- The same cannot be said for Jason Worilds.
While the Steelers have been coy committing to keeping Worilds, freeing up space would be the first move necessary to make him and offer that keeps him off the free agent market. Behind the Steel Curtain editor Neal Coolong says he expects this to happen.
However, ESPN’s Scott Brown is citing sources indicating that the Steelers will allow Jason Worilds to become a free agent (Coolong later acknowledged Browns report.)
What of Polamalu and Pittsburgh?
The Steelers could immediately free up salary cap space by reaching a decision on Troy Polamalu’s fate. Dale Lolley reports that Polamalu is training with an eye towards playing in 2015. Troy Polamalu carries a salary cap value of $8,250,000 for 2015 and it is difficult to imagine the Steelers bringing him back at that number.
Art Rooney II has said that he wants Polamalu to retire as a Steeler. If that’s going to happen Polamalu almost certainly will have to take a pay cut.