Art Rooney II Says Steelers Will Have Their Eyes Open During Free Agency
If you believe the recent reports that the 2014 salary cap number could come in at $130 million or higher, than you should know how well that plays into the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Team president Art Rooney II has heard those same reports, but he’s not ready to start planning around that potential boost.
“At the moment it’s a little hard to react to it because it’s nothing official and it really would be significantly a bigger bump than what we have been led to believe it’s going to be,” Rooney said in a Saturday morning interview from 2014 NFL Combine in Indianapolis on 970 ESPN. “So I’m not sure at this moment that we can rely on that.
“It’s something that if it happens, obviously we can use a little more room, but I don’t know if it’s something right now that we’re planning to rely on. We just have to wait and see what happens with it and we’re proceeding pretty much according to plan that we had in terms of the original estimate and if it turns out to be that we have a little more room, that’s great.”
Depending on what recent projected salary cap number for 2014 you want to use, the Steelers are currently roughly anywhere from $7 to $9 million over the cap. That’s not a bad position to be in when you look at some of the business that’s expected to be done from now until the start of the new league year.
During his Saturday morning interview, Rooney did say the process of getting cap compliant is well underway right now and that they’ve already talked to agents of players currently under contract about restructuring their contracts. It’s not hard to figure out that wide receiver Antonio Brown and linebacker Lawrence Timmons are the two candidates for typical restructures and by doing both to the full amount it would clear nearly $8 million in salary cap space.
In addition, Rooney also said they’re talking to agents of their soon-to-be free agents they would like to retain and that there’s also a possibility they could be players in free agency.
“We’ll have our eyes open to see if there’s somebody that can come in and help us get better,” said Rooney. “There’s always interesting prospects out there in terms of the unrestricted market. There’s certainly some areas we’re going to try to address this offseason.”