Art Rooney II Expects A Few Contracts To Be Restructured This Offseason

The Pittsburgh Steelers really aren’t in too bad of shape from a salary cap standpoint heading into the offseason, but there is still a lot of work to be done nonetheless. Team president Art Rooney II was a guest Thursday morning on DVE Radio and he talked a little bit about what needs to be done prior to the start of the free agency signing period in March.

“Every year it’s a challenge and this is no exception,” said Rooney. “We’ll have some decisions to make and will probably have to restructure contracts and things like that. I think it’s something that we’ve done in the past, we’ll have to do it again.”

In one of my most recent post on the 2014 salary cap situation, I again speculated that the contracts of wide receiver Antonio Brown and linebacker Lawrence Timmons would be restructured in an effort to free up cap space. Restructures for just those two players alone will free up nearly $8 million in 2014 cap space if done to the full amounts. It’s going to happen.

The Steelers have 21 players on their season-ending roster that will be unrestricted free agents in March and Rooney commented somewhat on the game plan associated with a few of them moving forward.

“No doubt there a quite a number of free agents that we want to be talking to and hopefully get some of them done even before the new league year starts,” he said.

The most obvious unrestricted free agent is linebacker Jason Worilds and their best chance of keeping him in Pittsburgh includes preventing him from hitting free agency. In addition to Worilds, you would have to think that defensive end Ziggy Hood, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and defensive lineman Al Woods won’t be far behind when you talk about players that might get re-signed prior to the start of free agency.

Rooney isn’t going to talk about individual players in any of these offseason interviews that he gives this week, but at least he gave a pretty good rough outline of how things will go down over the course of the next 60 days.

  • SumnerYoung

    Al Woods has served his d-line apprenticeship under John Mitchell. Get him signed to a fair deal, which shouldn’t be much considering he hasn’t played a lot, and let’s see what he can do with more playing time.

  • srdan

    I didn’t realize that AB and Tim can help free up that much. That makes me more optimistic about signing 93. I agree with the article, our best shot is to keep him before March.

    I see three positives with the signing. We lock up a promising pass rusher, and allow ourselves flexiblitiy to get rid of Woodley. Also it will give us security at OLB which would not make it as high of a priority in the draft.

  • steeltown

    I think its clear that Worilds is the biggest FA, followed by Cotchery IMO.. then you have depth guys like Al Woods, W.Allen and Dwyer that should be easily retained

    Im still uncertain how they view Hood, I have heard them praise him for his athletic ability and durability, but then he gets knocked down the depth chart. I know Heyward emerged and Keisel has remained productive but that is not a good sign. Maybe they offer him a modest deal, but I bet he tests the market

  • srdan

    Dave I don’t have twitter, but I can help you with the Vlookup

  • SteelersDepot

    Send me an email address and I will send an example later in the day

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I don’t know if they will get it done, but they absolutely will talk to Emanuel Sanders before Cotchery.

  • David Edward

    I don’t really see a reason to offer Hood a contract unless maybe in June after the draft and after the June 1 cuts. If he signs elsewhere, so what? Woods should take priority over Ziggy since I don’t think we’ve seen his upside yet and he’s NT capable (whereas Ziggy is left-bench capable). It’s even possible they could go DE #1 again with someone like Tuitt or Hageman, depending on how things play out. If Hood does return, hopefully it’s only for near vet minimum and only to be a backup.

  • Chad H

    Im trying to come up with a Steelers 1 rd board (my dream list). Tuitt is also a guy that I have yet to bump off the list. Hageman who’s name is gaining attention I see more of a 4-3 DT much like I view Hood.

  • dgh57

    Haha, if Hood is still available after the June 1 cuts that means 31 other teams saw no reason to sign him and that(includes teams that play a 4-3 defense)means he’ll have no choice but play for whatever is offered him. I see us moving on to Arnfelt or a draft pick next season.

  • David Edward

    Hageman is a different kind of “animal” than Hood (to use a Tomlinism). He taller and more athletic, while still maintaining hefty weight. I like both him and Tuitt as good fits for how the Steelers use their DEs. They are both in the Heyward mold. Also, when they go to the 2 DL nickel and dime packages, both can be used inside with Cam to push the pocket and rush, then get their hands up to bat down passes (like Cam).

  • DoctorNoah

    It scares me to get rid of Woodley, despite his injury history. I still believe he’s formidable. I love Worilds’ emergence, but remain skeptical about Jarvis Jones’ development into a crack OLB in the classic Steelers mold. What do people think?

    As we move things around into hybrid fronts and try to create matchups it creates even more need for what we have up front to create pressure. If we have two Down linemen on a play with extra DB’s and only one LB free to pressure the QB, those three have to exert a lot of force. I like what Heyward is doing, but I miss the relentlessness of Harrison, that explosive bull rush that drives a 350-lb tackle back on his heels… Give me that. Give me Jared Allen. Give me some power…

  • Jollyrob68

    Hood will be signed before the draft by someone. He is a starting 34de or a 43dt. He’s probably a better attacking dt in the 43. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas signs him or even Tampa bay.

  • Jollyrob68

    If they can work out a new lower contract with Woodley that would be awesome plus Sign Jason Worilds.

  • James Kling

    I don’t know if teams will be kicking the barn doors in to get Hood, but my best guess is he gets a better deal from a 4-3 team. Where he actually might fit.

  • dgh57

    No doubt Hood will find a job somewhere. I was just commenting on Dave’s scenario he put out there.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I have 2 major concerns with Worilds: 1) He seems to be injury prone and cant stay healthy. I dont know if you can count on him being there over the course of a long season. I know that is true for everyone, but the risk seems higher with him. 2) He did not perform well until his contract year, in which he was dinged up again. Will he perform if he gets paid? Many fans, including myself, thought he was going to be a bust. So, with that said, I think this is a very risky investment. I would only resign him if they get a very team friendly deal. Dont get me wrong, I would like to have the guy, but since the risk is soo high, I would not classify him as a must have.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I hope they get him back with a team friendly deal. However, I agree with you, I think he can excel in the 43. I will miss him mainly because he is a high character, high effort guy. Unlike, Woodley, who is just a character.

  • Steve

    I will have to disagree. Cotchery was much more valuable than Sanders and after what Sanders did with the Pats last year, throw him to the wolves. We don’t need problems on the team.

  • Steve

    What Woodley is making we can sign Worilds, Wood, Cotchery and have some money left over. His wheels are shot and Woodley is not willing to work them back into working order.

  • SteelerDave

    I agree, Hood will likely get a decent offer from Dallas or Tampa and become an above average DT in a 4-3.

    I still wish LeBeau would retire gracefully (I love LeBeau and hate to see him hang on not knowing when to quit like Papa Joe) and allow Butler to take over as DC and instill the 4-3 that Tomlin much prefers. Much of our D-linemen and LB’s are an ideal fit for a 4-3 and it does work best with the Tampa 2.

  • joed32

    He missed 7 games in the last 4 years and Woodley has missed 12.

  • joed32

    Problem is that the cost to cut Woodley before June 1 is prohibitive. On June 1 the cost drops to about 5 mil but that’s after free agency is over so they couldn’t use that money until then.


    This is just..depressing. All this talk of restructuring players.

    It seems our plans for improving our 8-8 team is to do the same exact thing we did last year.