Steeler Nation, tomorrow marks a very important date on the calender for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers will be getting back $5.5 million from releasing offensive guard Willie Colon in March. The Steelers have just over $90,000 in cap space as it stands today, but after tonight, that will increase to roughly $5.59 million.
The Steelers released Colon on March 13. The 30-year old Colon has failed to have a complete season since 2009 (Colon was 27). In the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Colon played in just one regular season game. In 2010, it was a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in the offseason that made him miss the entire season. In 2011, Colon tore his triceps against the Baltimore Ravens in week one of the regular season. Colon found his way on injured reserve again.
2012 was Colon’s last chance after being given a contract the year before that was worth $29 million. Colon played in 11 games, but again was placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury. The Steelers decided they were better off releasing Colon and getting back the $5.5 million Colon would of made in 2013.
The Steelers have been able to manage a lot without Colon’s salary to this point. They signed five of their nine draft choices (Wheaton, Thomas, Hawthorne, Brown, Vince Williams), along with signing rookie free agents, Emmanuel Sanders‘ $2.5 million one-year contract, and two veteran free agents in LaRod Stephens-Howling and Guy Whimper.
With the additional money, the Steelers should be able to wrap up the rest of the draft picks including first and second round picks Jarvis Jones and Le’Veon Bell. With that, the Steelers should have some extra money in the pocket that they can play with.
Expect the team to put away about $1 million just in case of an emergency, that they would have to invest into some free agents. A smart strategy that has worked in the past (example: Max Starks in 2011). Nevertheless, it is very important to get this money back and get the remaining players the Steelers will need under contract, which they will do shortly after June 1st.