Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) during the third quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Could Pittsburgh Steelers Release Or Deal Lawrence Timmons After 2014?

The Pittsburgh Steelers moved rather swiftly once the official NFL offseason began when they announced the release of OLB LaMarr Woodley with a June 1st release date.  That day is upon us, which then brings up the question of are the Steelers done with dumping some of their more highly paid players – like Lawrence Timmons?

No way Timmons gets dumped before the 2014 season, but the question was brought up during an open thread over at BTSC on Saturday evening.

Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons has a cap number of $8.1 million in 2015 and in $3 million in 2016. That’s about five times what Ryan Shazier and Sean Spence are due next season, and Vince WIlliams is still under contract. If Spence shows he’s capable of remaining healthy and fast, and Williams continues to improve, would the Steelers consider releasing Timmons next off-season as a post-June 1 cut?

To clarify what Neal’s trying to get at in this question – Timmons’ Dead Money will be $8.1 million in 2015 and only $3 million in 2016, which is the final year of his contract.  The actual cap hit the Steelers are taking in total with Timmons is $11.8 million this year, $12.5 in 2015, and $11.8 in 2016.  Which means that the Steelers would save $3 million in 2015 and $8 million in 2016 if they release him with a post-June 1st just like they did with Woodley.

Now let’s get one thing straight.  Timmons is by far the best LB for the Steelers at this moment.  And, he in no way has done anything to make the coaches or Steeler Nation feel like he’s not doing everything he can to play at peak level…. unlike Stay Puft Woodley.  By rights he could be offered another two or three year extension come 2015.

However, as Neal eludes to in his question, if the younger guys like Shazier, Spence, and Williams all perform outstandingly well this season, would the Steelers consider releasing Timmons?  The short answer is ‘no.’  But, I think it is very possible for 2016.  Two seasons of Shazier’s progress and a healthy Spence (along with solid backup play by Williams) could push the Steelers to reconsider Timmons sticking around when cheaper options are already on the roster.  If they don’t restructure his contract in the next season, thus shifting more dead money to 2016, that $8 million in savings could go a long way to signing FA’s in the offseason as well as re-signing their own key FA’s.

It’s a very similar financial situation to the Woodley release that allowed the Steelers to be on the aggressive side in free agency rather than just sit back.  Woodley’s post-June 1st savings would allow them to sign FA’s in the spring and lock in their rookies with those savings after the draft.

I’m not saying it will happen.  There’s still two full seasons of football to play before this would have to play out in full, but the thought of it is intriguing…. and well, a good feeling to consider those young guys develop well enough to put the Steelers in such a position.

What do you think?

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    First of all, I love the “Stay Puft” reference, and I’m proud to see that my nicknames are still around this site. Lol.

    Interesting take, but at this point, Spence staying healthy and Williams continuing to develop are enormous “ifs” and as you said, this is something that needs to be explored at the end of the season. Even though Timmons has manned the mack spot for the last six years, he’s far and away the most experienced linebacker and the most capable of playing the buck from a frame and skill-set perspective.

    Timmons will only be 31 when the 2017 season rolls around, so releasing him before then without receiving anything of value in return makes little sense. A trade, potentially for a 3rd round selection or higher could be intriguing before then, but it would likely have to occur after this season and Pittsburgh would still need someone to take his place at the buck in 2015 while teams would likely not make a trade for him before the 2016 campaign since he’d be in the last year of his deal.

    While it is a “pass first” league right now, guys like Shazier, Spence and Garvin would be at the mercy of large, interior OL in the run game if the DL cannot improve and man two-gaps on a consistent basis.

    Personally, I’d rather see Pittsburgh have Timmons play out his deal (which he has far and away earned with his play unlike that corpulent douche canoe Woodley), keep the seat warm for a younger guy to take his place in 2017 and a likely 3rd to 4th round comp. pick be on the table for 2018. However, the option to extend him (a la Miller this offseason for 2-3 years) must exist after the 2016 campaign for the FO & Timmons to turn to if no capable replacement is found or Timmons continues to shine after a decade in the league.

    • Craig

      First of all – Stay Puft was first coined by me long ago. Nice try ;)

      Secondly – yes I think a trade is probably more realistic of an option than a straight up release.


        Lol. Problem is, although there could be a market for Timmons’ services after this season, what guarantee is there that Spence, Williams, Garvin or even Zumwalt will prove to be a capable buck linebacker in a 3-4 scheme?

        If the team is moving to a 4-3 in the near future however, things could get extremely interesting.

        • Rick Eger

          They’re not gonna move to a 4-3

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            They seem to be acquiring a lot of 4-3 & scheme versatile guys. Plus, Tomlin’s background was in a Tampa-2 Base scheme. I’ll be stoked if they move to a 4-3 though because it will mean LeBeau is finally gone.

          • Rick Eger

            They’ve played a 3-4 base defense since 1983 I don’t see them changing.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            And they played 4-3 for a number of years before that.

          • Guest

            Ok big mouth we’ll see.

          • Rick Eger

            They used to run a single wing offence to, I’d be stoked if they went back to it.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            I’ll keep that in mind. Yet it’s hard to take anyone seriously when it comes to the topic of football if they can’t spell “offense.” Hahaha.

          • Rick Eger

            I didn’t ignore anything Pal, you’re the one running his mouth about the Steelers moving to a 4-3 defense……is that why they drafted Daniel McCullers, the massive Middle Guard from Tennessee? You have a convenient memory.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            Where did I say that they would? Guess what? I didn’t. Not only is your spelling piss-poor, your reading comprehension is just as pathetic. I simply stated that they have acquired plenty of scheme-versatile personnel in recent seasons. You just chose to ignore it.

            Also, guys like Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams played DT in 4-3 schemes w/Baltimore. You have a convenient memory as well.

          • Rick Eger

            Your lame attempts at put downs don’t faze me in the least. I’ve forgotten more about the Steelers than you’ll ever know. Maybe you can impress some people, it seems too be A priorty with you! The only thing you are is an internet troll…..crawl back under your bridge.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            You’re lame attempts and put downs are sad and quite amusing to say the least. It might help if you worked on constructing arguments and your reading comprehension skills. Then maybe you won’t look like such a jackass when people bring up valid counterpoints and add to discussions.

          • Rick Eger

            I guess we’ll have too wait and see, I don’t see Truitt as a 4-3 lineman and linebackers who rush the passer are generally 3-4, from the days of L.T. Of course with your supposed superior intellect I’ll have too defer……but Pittsburgh will be playing their usual defence this season, It must be nice having such a sharp eye for talent… really should be a G.M. somewhere.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            Tuitt has the athleticism play 4-3 DT as well as a 5-tech in a 3-4 (where he is a better fit). His versatility was a large reason why he was drafted. Having DL who can pass rush, particularly guys who can either man two-gaps against the run and stay on the field for three downs are huge for any NFL team. Tuitt has the ceiling to be a solid player if he can keep his weight in check and use better technique.

            Also, Shazier is a threat to help the team in pass coverage as well as in A-Gap blitzes. Him and Timmons could be lethal in regards to the latter on passing downs. In turn, that would allow Polamalu to play more safety than linebacker like he did in sub-packages last season.

          • Rick Eger

            You must be an english professor as well as a football expert.

  • daddeeekip

    The Steelers won’t dump or trade Timmons especially if he’s productive and healthy. Woodley was dumped basically of 2 and half unproductive years, the Steelers stick with there players even most times to long.

  • Rick Eger

    I hope they don’t cut him……unlike Woodley he’s a very productive player/ In fact their best linebacker.