Steelers Enter 2014 League Year In Good Shape Salary Cap Wise

The 2014 league year begins at 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday and thanks to several transactions over the course of the last few weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers will enter the start of free agency with more than $7.5 million in salary cap space to work with.

While $7.5 million might not seem like a whole lot, you have remember that several players currently at the bottom of their top 51 are earning minimum salaries and thus those amounts will also figure into displacement as players are signed moving forward.

While the Steelers were able to get veteran cornerback Ike Taylor to take a big pay-cut on Monday, they still could use another experienced free agent cornerback on the roster. While they won’t overspend to do so, they are in a position to make a run at Tennessee’s Alterraun Verner, Miami’s Nolan Carroll and Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn.

Should they choose not to go the free agent cornerback route, the Steelers at the very least should be able to re-sign a few of their own key unrestricted free agents they wish to keep without any issues and this includes defensive linemen Ziggy Hood and Al Woods. In addition, veteran wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery should be an easy target as well.

With the release of linebacker LaMarr Woodley expected to be made official on Tuesday, the Steelers could certainly use an experienced outside linebacker to backup both Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones. However, unless they’re any surprise cuts on Tuesday, they’re unlikely to be able to fill that need with big name player.

The release of Woodley will eventually clear nearly $8 million in salary cap space after displacement come June 1 and that will be more than enough room to sign the 2014 draft class. In addition, getting the contract of Worilds extended at some point during the offseason should also clear a few more million. All of that combined means the Steelers should have more than enough room to extend the contracts of cornerback Cortez Allen, defensive end Cameron Heyward, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey at some point during the offseason, should that indeed be their intent.

  • Ike Evans

    God I hope the don’t resign ziggy

  • dgh57

    Hopefully we can get something worked out with Cotchery and Woods!

  • dgh57

    I agree! Good chance they won’t now that FA is about to start.

  • OIF3gunner

    Why would you NOT re-sign Ziggy!? That is probably the most idiotic post I have read here. The man isn’t an all pro but he is solid. He never misses games and just does his job. Let me ask you this, who should we get if we don’t re-sign Ziggy!?


    I would have no problem with Ziggy on the roster at the right price.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Here is why you would NOT re-sign Ziggy…

    1) He is not very good. He does not anchor well, he does not hold the point well, he does not disengage blocks well, he does not bull rush well, he does’t draw double teams well. What do you think he does that is so solid?

    2) He is not improving. A lot of players get off to a slow start, but after a couple years the light comes on and they “get it”. We see this with Heyward. Ziggy has had 5 years. He still doesn’t get it. And IMO he never will.

    3) He is hindering our younger players progression. Many people will say “By the time we saw Keenan Lewis’ talent it was too late to re-sign him.” Part of the reason is it took so long to see his talent is because we kept playing the “solid” Willie Gay and the “solid” Bryant McFadden in front of him.

    4) Brian Arnfelt. Within one year of full time snaps, I believe Arnfelt could be equally effective as Ziggy Hood. All he needs is snaps. Why pay Ziggy the extra salary when there is an equal but cheaper talent on our roster already. That “Ziggy money” could be the difference between signing a top FA or a mediocre one. Or re-signing one of our own guys or letting him go.

    5) Statement. When you reward players for mediocre/average performance it sends a message to the rest of the team that the standard has dropped. You’re not expected to make plays anymore. You’re not expected to be the Steel Curtain anymore. Just be a nice guy, who’s dependable, who shows up every Sunday, and doesn’t get hurt and we’ll extend you.

    6) Should I keep going? My fingers are cramping up…

  • Jason

    Is that it? LOL I agree with most of what you said but he did show flashes of decent play last season.

  • Paddy

    Don’t expect any FA signings unless they redo Ben’s deal.

  • Nolrog

    All that is true. However, he would come cheap, knows the defense and we don’t have anyone else to start there.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    1. Nice to be out of cap hell.
    2. Do the Steelers do it again and re-up on Big Ben? I’m OK either way on that one. Save some more room this year, make Ben happy…but, mortgage the future on an aging QB who has taken more hits than the blocking sled? Glad my job isn’t dependent on that decision.
    3. I’m OK with the starting LB, I’ll give Jones a pass and I’ll even take a risk and say Williams will suffice. However, after that, is there a man on the roster worthy of putting on the black and gold? LBs needed, apply within.

  • steeltown

    Woods, Cotchery and Dwyer are the Steeler names on my list..and Ziggy if the price is right, some don’t want him re-signed but at the right price he is very valuable. He’s young yet experienced and he’s always been durable.
    Then I would be VERY happy if they landed Nolan Carroll

  • Steeler Wheeler

    All good reasons. Not so sure untested, undertalented players could do any better. Hood should come cheap, good character, never misses a down. I’m on the fence, should would like to see Aaron Smith type play, but I’m pretty certain that player is not on the roster.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    oops, just said almost the same thing. mediocre, healthy, already coached and cheap is not always bad if you can’t do any better.

    I still think with the new cap some 4-3 team gives him a shot to be a rush end. His physical skills are impressive and someone will think they can coach him better.

  • dkoy85

    I’m sorry but you are annoying. My blood pressure rises every time I read one of your posts- We have a CrazyTerry on here, maybe it’s time for a CrazyPaddy?

  • dkoy85

    Is Harrison going to be a FA this year? If so, what are the chances we bring him back at the minimum and have him retire a Steeler while offering a cheap, experienced backup role? He HAS to be a bigger upgrade than Carter and he takes good care of his body.

  • dkoy85

    Landing Carroll would be awesome. I love his height. Just wish he was more of a play maker and more of a tackling machine. However, he is affordable and will add an instant boost to our secondary. Carrol, Taylor, Allen, and Gay offer a great deal of size and experience.

  • dkoy85

    As long as he’s a backup- I don’t want them getting too comfortable with him because the position should be upgraded to help Jones’ learning curve.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Agreed, but they even need to sign the Long Snapper and a few like that.

  • steeltown

    Just added the others on my list

  • Ike Evans

    Al woods backs up just as well

  • AndyR34

    Yes…keep going and provide a few facts along the way.

    Point 1 & 2 are YOUR opinions stated as a fact…problem is they are unsubstantiated assertions.

    Point 3 is flat out wrong. Who’s development is he hindering, pray-tell? Williams was on IR and has been noted as a “project”, not a player; Arnfelt did not make the 53-man squad and these are the two other DE’s in the development pipeline. Woods has failed with several other teams and while he may be a serviceable back-up, he is much more likely to be near the top end of his “upside”…possibly one reason why the Steelers have not rushed out to re-sign him for next year. Lastly…McClendon is NOT a DE (despite what many bloggers on here say…again, unsubstantiated assertions), but is our starting NT and I do not see how his development has been hindered by playing next to Hood. However, I am also sure that you will be happy to point us towards the facts that confirm this.

    Point 4 is, again, an unsubstantiated assertion…your beliefs are not facts and all of the evidence contradicts this statement.

    Point 5 – what reward??? Signing a player of average NFL ability to an average NFL contract cannot be considered a reward. Secondly, you have no idea what kind of a role model he plays to younger players. Neither do I, but it is equally conceivable that younger players look up to him because he works hard, plays hard to the best of his ability, doesn’t complain or pout about being demoted, understands this is a business, stays out of the news, etc.

    Basically then, IMHO your post is balderdash and appears to be based upon some irrational or emotional hatred. The caveat to that last statement is I don’t know you and I am not a psychologist…just a long time observer of life.

  • AndyR34

    Interesting thought, but I fear that the parting on this one was not as amicable as would permit this. That is just a fear with nothing but some innuendo to support it. And I agree on the upgrade to Carter…Silverback in a wheelchair would be an upgrade. LOL

  • Peatwo

    Nice editing job from this morning’s info on what Woodley’s release would mean for free agency…

  • Melly

    30mins ago the NFL channel on Sirius/XM said they were only 2 million under!