Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the Steelers roster cuts have got them down to “at least” $10 million below what’s believed to be the 2012 salary cap of around $120 million.
The cost was large in terms of name value, as Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith and Chris Kemoeatu were all let go this week. Pittsburgh is hoping to retain restricted free agent Mike Wallace now that they cleared some much need cap room but NFL.com’s Mike Lombardi reported yesterday that they could still lose Wallace to a team offering $12 million first-year cap number.
That team would obviously have to be willing to part with a first-round pick in the process but it suggests that the Steelers may have to clear additional room before they can truly feel confident that he’ll be back in black and yellow next season.
“There is no doubt that he wants to play, and he wants to play here,” said Cindrich, via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don’t see them having the room to be able to bring (Farrior) back unless they have special needs and the ability to do so.”
At this point, it’s a safer bet that he’ll be playing elsewhere next season.
So far, Pittsburgh has been discussing a new contract with Cotchery who has even received support from QB Ben Roethlisberger who mentioned that it would be wise to keep him next season. Mike Wallace is still the top priority so until he’s properly situated, players like Cotchery will have to wait to see if they’ll be brought back for the 2012 season.
Cotchery could find interest on the open market after putting together a reasonably productive season in 2011.