The NFL’s deadline for getting under the salary cap is March 12 and the Pittsburgh Steelers are not wasting any time in meeting that deadline. The Steelers are currently working on restructuring the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The current contract of Roethlisberger will count $19.6 million against the Steelers’ salary cap.
Pittsburgh is approximately $14 million over the cap and it will take more than restructuring Big Ben’s contract to clear cap room for some offseason moves.
Other players who may get their contracts restructured by the end of this week are linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley. This is definitely in an attempt to lure in free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston, who recently played with the Kansas City Chiefs. Breaston is scheduled to meet with the Steelers later this week.
Furthermore, Pittsburgh needs to make sure they have money to give the rookies that they will pick in the draft in April.
In a perfect world, Pittsburgh would be able to make contractual changes without cutting ties with veteran players, but that won’t happen. More than likely, the Steelers will release aging linebacker James Harrison, who said that he is not willing to take a pay cut for the 2013 season. Pittsburgh will take a $10 million dollar hit if Harrison, who will be 35 years old at the start of the season, stays with the team.
Along with Harrison, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another veteran or two who is under contract being release in order to get things where they need to be for the offseason.
Restructuring contracts seem to be the norm in Pittsburgh. The Steelers had to do the same thing last year in order to clear cap room, and with less than a month to get things straight, Pittsburgh will have to get very creative and try to get things in order for 2013.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google