ESPN’s John Clayton mentions that the Pittsburgh Steelers should come in at around $130 million which just happens to be over the cap by $10 million.
The fact that they could be sitting over the proposed salary cap leaves plenty of questions regarding their free agents to be. Willie Colon, Ike Taylor, Dennis Dixon and William Gay’s contracts will all have to addressed at some point in the near future.
ESPN AFC North blogger James Walker suggests a few moves that could help them get back under the cap. Walker suggests cutting OT Flozell Adams, WR Antwaan Randle El and WR Limas Sweed. He then writes that the Steelers could adjust Aaron Smith‘s contract to something more cap-friendly for the 2011 seasoon.
“Smith is on the books for $4.5 million in the final year of his contract,” Walker writes. “But you don’t just cut a leader and career Steeler like Smith. So asking him to restructure and perhaps save $2 million makes sense. Smith has been an excellent mentor to Ziggy Hood and could be to rookie Cameron Heyward in what could be Smith’s final season.”
Walker’s last move would be to sign Lamarr Woodley to a longterm contract which would adjust his franchise tag total of roughly $10 million to a lower first year deal.
A lot of Walker’s suggests make sense as they could re-sign some of the veteran players they cut to more reasonable contracts depending on the players interest. Locking up Woodley is a no-brainer as he’s going to be their defensive star for the next few years.