Ben Roethlisberger helped his team greatly in getting under the salary cap by restructuring his contract. This is the second time since he originally singed that contract back in 2008 that he has restructured. This one will probably have a bigger impact than the first time.
The Steelers will save another $8 million against the cap with Big Ben’s restructure. So here’s the breakdown: Ben ($8M) Woodley ($6.56M) Timmons ($5.14M) Ike ($3.283M) Colon ($2.85M) McFadden ($2.5M) Battle ($1.037M) Total: $29.37M Boom. Kahn and the Rooney’s have come up with almost $30 million in two weeks. My calculator is on fire.
So let’s see – the $29 million puts them under the cap. But, will this be enough to get the real business done? Now, August is far far away, but you’ve got to be thinking about the draft picks and what they will gobble up when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. Steelers will probably need another $5 million to lock all those guys up. In order for the Steelers to even consider retaining Wallace, they are going to have to make a few more cuts in order to come up with the money – Mike Wallace is going to cost $9 million with that franchise tag. That’s some mad Benjamins but completely worth it with his speed and skills.
First on the list – Kemoeatu. Captain Penalty. Guy is dead weight if you ask me. Worthless with a capital W. If he’s not getting called for holding, then he’s letting the defense get by. If he’s not false starting, he’s making late hits after the whistle. Bye bye Kemo.
Aaron Smith, though it pains me to say, should probably be the next to go. He’s getting old and injury prone. Dude is fierce when healthy. But, with Heyward going into his second year and the Steelers stating that they really want Hampton back the Steelers are in less of panic to keep Smith and risk another pick in the draft. Those two guys (Smith and Kemo) would save the Steelers another $6 million. Not the nine, they need for Wallace, but it’s another big step to get there.
I’ll also foresee guys like Foote and Farrior gone. Low production and age are killing the inside on the defense right now. Lose them, pick up some rookies and hope that Timmons will pick up the slack next season. Colbert didn’t say it was a rebuilding year, but it sure ain’t a hellfire one either. Next season is going to be a challenging one for the Black & Gold. This year’s cap has helped set that one up. But, the cap grows $10 million next season, which will only help them. We may just have to accept the fact that we are going to keep losing some good players (and not so good) and hope that the team can rally with the new bold along with the old for a chance at the playoffs for the next year or so.