Art Rooney II hasn’t slowed down the process of making more salary cap room for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the upcoming 2012 NFL season. Linebacker James Farrior, guard Chris Kemoeatu, and defensive end Aaron Smith were all informed that they will be released by the franchise prior to the start of the NFL calendar year, which starts on March 13th.
With the eventual releases of Farrior, Kemoeatu, and Smith, right now the total of players released this offseason is at six. Previously, cornerback Bryant McFadden, and receivers Arnez Battle and Hines Ward were let go.
All arrows are still pointing to making cap room to give receiver Mike Wallace a long-term deal that will keep him in a Steeler uniform for many years to come. It has be said by Jason La Canfora on www.nfl.com that Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert mentioned that a first-round tender will be used on the Pro Bowl receiver.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that Mike Wallace remains a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I think that’s Mike’s belief as well,” Colbert said.
Everything including possibly releasing more players, and restructuring more contracts so that Wallace won’t leave the Steel City.
Given the Steelers’ financial situation, this is the best thing to do in order to keep young players like Wallace for the long haul so that Pittsburgh can stay in contention for a Super Bowl year after year. Although I feel that this is a good idea, losing so much veteran leadership in the locker room due to these releases, and finding a way to cope with injuries from late last season (e.g. Rashard Mendenhall and Casey Hampton), Pittsburgh will find it very difficult this upcoming season to be the dominant team that they have been for the past few years.
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