Everyone who follows the Pittsburgh Steelers know that every offseason, the organization finds themselves in a crunch when it comes to their salary cap. Contracts are always reconstructed and veterans are released just so the Steelers can make ends meet.
It appears that these salary cap woes made an impact on Pittsburgh’s decision-making in regards to forming their 53-man roster for the 2013 season. The most surprising casualty was running back Jonathan Dwyer, who was cut after the Steelers made a trade for running back Felix Jones.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Mark Kaboly even hinted towards the reasoning for releasing Dwyer in a tweet this past Sunday:
One last thing on Dwyer … it wasn’t the coaching staff that wanted him gone.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) September 2, 2013
Dwyer, who led Pittsburgh in rushing last year, signed a one-year restricted tender this past offseason worth $1.323 million. Although Dwyer averaged four yards per carry during the preseason, the amount that he was set to get this year seemed to be too steep for the Steelers’ organization.
Apparently, it’s cheaper to have Jones, Isaac Redman, LaRod Stephens-Howling and rookie Le’Veon Bell as their running back corps. This roster move could have been premeditated by the organization, and probably would have happened even if Bell had not injured his foot during the preseason.
As unfortunate as the departure of Dwyer is, it could make room financially for Pittsburgh to make a move on a recently released player. One that comes to mind is tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. The 11-year veteran was cut by the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens.
With the possibility of Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth ending up on the injured/reserve list, Shaincoe could help add depth and keep things together temporarily until Pro Bowler Heath Miller returns to the field.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+