December 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko (left) sacks Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Cincinnati Bengals won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in dire straights with their salary cap situation, and according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, G.M. Kevin Colbert told a handful of local reporters recently that their effort to get under the cap will include “terminations, restructurings, and extensions.”
As for who is cut, it’s only a matter of time before offensive tackle Levi Brown is cut in order to free-up $6 million after he didn’t play a single snap last year after the Arizona Cardinals gave up on him.
And when it comes to handing out extensions, Colbert made it sound as though quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the likeliest to get one as they want their franchise QB to finish his career in Pittsburgh.
But if they’re going to rely on him to be their franchise QB, they’ll need to start protecting him better. Roethlisberger has been sacked 194 times over the past five seasons. Roethlisberger’s blind-side protection was a mess the past two seasons.
Kelvin Beachum was eventually inserted into the starting lineup after Mike Adams proved to be a disappointment and could be replaced this offseason.
They won’t find an adequate replacement though until Ben signs a new deal that lowers his 2014 salary. His total cap hit for the year is $18.895 million, and the Steelers currently sit about $10 mil. above the cap, meaning they can’t even sign their future draft picks right now.
The Steelers could also ask safety Troy Polamalu, who has a total cap hit of $10.887 million in 2014, to take a pt cut. It is the final year of Polamalu’s contract, however, and a reduced salary is something he might not accept in the same way James Harrison said “no” to a paycut and was eventually released.
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