As expected, the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger agreed to a restructured deal by week’s end. The deal, reported by NFL.com, saves the team $6 million in cap money.
Time to get your green accounting hats on….
This makes Big Ben the third Steeler to restructure a deal. Lawrence Timmons was the first to restructure, saving the team $5.3 million. Antonio Brown was the second Steeler to restructure this week – a surprise move as he was not among those thought to restructure after just re-signing with the team last season. Brown’s restructure saves the team $3.08 million. Total those three deals up, and the team has saved $14.38 million this season in cap space. Don ‘t get too comfy my friends. Depending on who you ask and on what day, the Steelers are anywhere between $12-20 million in the hole against the cap. That still means that some players will be released, especially if guys like James Harrison continue to dig their heals in and refuse to restructure.
Expect Harrison, Willie Colon, and possibly LaMarr Woodley (if the team keeps Harrison) to get the pink slip to save even larger chunks of money. All three are worth $7-10 million each against the cap. Outright dumping one or two of these guys will certainly take them above and beyond what the need, and will give them a little buying power when trying to sign other free agents on the team like cornerback Keenan Lewis. Other players will get released as well, but those are the three elephants taking up the most space currently in a very cramped room.
Always keep this in mind – none of these guys restructuring are heroes and none of these guys refusing to restructure are villans. They all get their money one way or another over the course fo their contract. No one is really taking a pay cut. It’s just a band-aid to a wound that is getting bigger and bigger as the cap gets more and more bloated with each restructuring.