One day after news broke that the Pittsburgh Steelers were in the process of restructuring the contracts of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker Lawrence Timmons, the team found a third target. Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has not made it a full calendar year since signing a big-money extension, restructured his contract.
With these three moves, the Steelers inch closer to salary cap compliance by the March 12 deadline, but they still have work to do. Between these three players, the team appears to have pared roughly $12 million off the cap. Unfortunately, they entered the offseason needing to rid the team of an estimated $14 million to meet the league-mandated cap.
At this point, the Steelers are not done working with their salary cap or roster. Once the meet the projected cap, they will still need to clear money for their restricted free agents, draftees and any unrestricted free agents required to fill out their roster. To free up more money the team will likely target LaMarr Woodley or Ike Taylor as restructure candidates and potentially older veterans Troy Polamalu, James Harrison , Ryan Clark and Brett Keisel for pay cuts and in some cases even release.
Some hard decisions sit on the horizon and the team will likely lose some unexpected veterans this offseason. With 24 of the 53-man roster headed into free agency (six restricted and 18 unrestricted), the Steelers must clear enough space to fill out their roster.
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