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Thread: Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap

      
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    Default Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap

    Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap
    Sunday, July 31, 2011
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Peter Diana/Post-GazetteSteelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert: "There could be some further terminations and there could be some new roster additions."Plaxico Burress was not the only free agent the Steelers entertained Saturday at Saint Vincent College. Tight end Daniel Graham, 32, also paid them a visit.

    Trouble is, where could they find the salary-cap room to even make him an offer?

    Other teams such as Tennessee also are bidding for Graham, who played the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots before that. Graham, a veteran tight end who can block, would fill a need for the Steelers after backup Matt Spaeth signed as a free agent this week with the Chicago Bears.

    Even without adding Graham, the Steelers were talking Saturday about possibly releasing more veterans to get under what essentially will be a $123 million salary cap for them.

    "Currently, we're still trying to get in compliance with the cap," said Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations. "We'll be doing some renegotiating to try to get in compliance. There could be some further terminations and there could be some new roster additions."

    Renegotiations do not mean givebacks by players. The way they have done it in the past is to ask a player with a long-term contract that pays significant money to restructure his deal to save salary-cap room. Say a player with an $8 million salary this season has three years left on his deal. The Steelers could reduce that player's salary-cap hit by giving him $6 million in a signing bonus and $2 million in salary. That would reduce his cap hit by half yet he would receive the same money (signing bonuses are pro-rated over the contract).

    Among logical players to be asked to restructure would be Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Smith. They also can take a big chunk off their salary cap by trading the $10 million franchise player salary for LaMarr Woodley into a long-term contract.

    The Steelers this week released veteran starting tackles Max Starks and Flozell Adams and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.

    The Steelers and all NFL teams need to be under the salary cap by Thursday. Each team is permitted to, in essence, add another $3 million to the cap which is slightly more than $120 million by using three separate $1 million exemptions on players currently under contract. That $3 million will have to be accounted for in 2014, when the cap is expected to balloon after new TV contracts are negotiated. Colbert indicated the Steelers would use all $3 million in exemptions this year.

    Colbert said their cap situation changes by the minute and trying to sign players (such as Graham or even their own) will be challenging.

    "Other teams are doing the same thing we're doing, and sometimes the demand will drive that market and we have to decide whether we want to be in it or not. We have to decide if we do get in it what it will cost us on the other end and can we handle it? That's something we have to judge daily.

    "We have to find ways to get under and in compliance and we're going to look at every and all possibilities."

    Break out the (full) pads
    The Steelers will don full pads for the first time today, which brought a smile to coach Mike Tomlin's face when he was asked about it Saturday after two days of practices in shorts and helmets.

    Looking forward to it?

    "Absolutely," Tomlin said. "It's football. We're going to come out with pads on and we're going to play football."

    He said he would make no changes to a normal practice based on the fact his players have not had one since they lost the Super Bowl in February.

    "Absolutely not; we're going to play football."

    Trusting younger players
    Colbert on the loss of two veteran tackles and the apparent lack of experienced depth in his offensive line: "You can't go into it and expect to have veteran depth at every position; it just doesn't work out financially. You have to trust some of your young guys. The hard part about trusting the young guys this year is they haven't had the minicamps and spring, and they're in a catchup mode."

    Short snaps
    Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who had surgery on both feet in the offseason, "has some discomfort in his foot," Tomlin said. "We're going to give him a few days and continue to evaluate him." ... Wide receiver Limas Sweed and rookie offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert have hamstring injuries and rookie cornerback Curtis Brown is ill. ... Quarterback Dennis Dixon, who started and won the first two games of the 2010 season, has not signed his restricted free-agent tender and is not in camp. He could not practice until Thursday anyway. Dixon has until Aug. 20 to sign with another team before his rights revert exclusively to the Steelers. If he signs elsewhere, the Steelers would receive a fifth-round draft pick next year in return or they could match his deal and keep him. ... The Steelers added undrafted rookie defensive end Corbin Bryant of Northwestern to their roster.


    Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11212...#ixzz1TjL0dNhH
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    Default Re: Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap

    I can't see them not attacking the DL for restructring and cuts. I expected to see Randel El cut but am surprised that a ridiculously expensive and ancient DL isn't getting restructured or seeing cuts (Aaron Smith) wen you have Ziggy Hood who should be a starter by now and Cam Heyward who could potentially be a starter this season
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    Default Re: Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap

    3 players that come to mind in a restructuring conversation are (not necessarily in any order) Big Ben, Hines and Harrison. Hines would be the first IMO simply because he's most likely at the end of his career. Give him a bonus now and reduce his annual salary which mostly won't be in play anyway. And the most shocking possibility is to see Harrison released. With the depth we have at LB and his issues with the league, I would not be totally surprised. They also need space to sign Woodley too, don't forget, as his franchise salary is a killer and that needs reduced.

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    Default Re: Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    3 players that come to mind in a restructuring conversation are (not necessarily in any order) Big Ben, Hines and Harrison. Hines would be the first IMO simply because he's most likely at the end of his career. Give him a bonus now and reduce his annual salary which mostly won't be in play anyway. And the most shocking possibility is to see Harrison released. With the depth we have at LB and his issues with the league, I would not be totally surprised. They also need space to sign Woodley too, don't forget, as his franchise salary is a killer and that needs reduced.
    I could defnitely see 2 of those guys (Hines Ward is only around a $4.5 million cap hit. Thats less than Heath Miller) being part of restructuring deals. Should add Troy in there since he's the 2nd higheast paid player and cap hit on the team at a $10 million cap hit) We still need to do something about Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton. Both of those guys, just individually make too much. Smith is a $6.1 cap hit and Hampton is a bloated $7 cap hit. Only Ben, Troy, Harrison and Woodley (which should get renegotiated) make more. I think that anyone making over $5 million per or in a cap hit has to be looked at as well.
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    Default Re: Steelers Notebook: More veterans could be let go to meet salary cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I could defnitely see 2 of those guys (Hines Ward is only around a $4.5 million cap hit. Thats less than Heath Miller) being part of restructuring deals. Should add Troy in there since he's the 2nd higheast paid player and cap hit on the team at a $10 million cap hit) We still need to do something about Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton. Both of those guys, just individually make too much. Smith is a $6.1 cap hit and Hampton is a bloated $7 cap hit. Only Ben, Troy, Harrison and Woodley (which should get renegotiated) make more. I think that anyone making over $5 million per or in a cap hit has to be looked at as well.
    Roethlisberger will redo contract to help Steelers meet cap
    Monday, August 01, 2011
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Pro Bowl outside linebacker James Harrison have restructured their contracts to help the Steelers get under the salary cap and perhaps free some room to sign players, the Post-Gazette has learned.

    The Steelers are trying to restructure the contracts of at least five players, and maybe six, to get to the $120 million salary cap by Thursday.

    Roethlisberger, who signed an eight-year, $102 million contract in March 2008, will not have the amount or the length of his deal altered, said his agent, Ryan Tollner. But it was restructured to create more cap space for the Steelers in 2011 and future seasons.

    "It was something for Ben to do," Tollner said. "The team needed to free up space and Ben was certainly happy to help out."

    The restructured contracts are not official until they have been submitted to the National Football League office for approval.

    Harrison signed a six-year, $51.7 million contract with $20 million guaranteed in April, 2009.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11213...#ixzz1Tp3lRQWM
    There ya go!!

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