It\’s finally here. The 2013 league year begins at 4:00 p.m. EST today and the last two weeks have been very busy for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who restructured three contracts, issued four restricted tenders, signed cornerback William Gay and guard Ramon Foster to three year deals, and released linebacker James Harrison. That\’s quite a bit of work, but the work is not done.
Until we get the final numbers in on the Foster contract, I will not go into great detail, but the Steelers are presumably just a couple a million under the $123 million salary cap with just hours to go before the start of the new league year. It\’s not like the Steelers are expected to be active in free agency, but they won\’t even be signing more of their own free agents until another shoe or two is dropped.
The Steelers still have the ability to restructure the contract of linebacker LaMarr Woodley at some point, which will free up $6 million plus at most. That\’s more than enough room to accommodate the 2013 draft class when they sign with a little spare change left over.
Guard Willie Colon will remain the giant elephant in the room until something is done with him. His agent says that he has not been asked to take a pay cut and a straight pre June 1st release only saves the Steelers less than $800,000 after displacement in the top 51 salaries.
Is there another shoe that we are missing here? Is there another termination or unexpected restructure coming? Perhaps a pay cut or two?
Rest assured, there is still another shoe or two left to drop between now and the start of training camp. Will they drop by later on today? They will have to if the Steelers want any to retain unrestricted free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis, which is looking less likely to happen by the minute.
Enjoy the frenzy today that is the start of free agency, but keep your head on swivel and be on the lookout for shoes.