Steeler Nation , the Steelers made some moves this week, trying to get all their ducks in a row before the deadline of 4:00 pm March 11th, when all NFL teams must be in compliance with the new salary cap of 133 million and the kick off of free agency.
The Steelers started off by signing their highest priority, potential free agent OLB Jason Worilds to the transition tag. Worilds signed the one year deal and it’s rumored that he and the Steelers are making progress on a long-term deal.
Second on the agenda the Steelers extended a couple of contracts to help lower the 2014 cap burden . Heath Miller and Troy Polamalu both signed two-year extensions keeping them both a Steeler through 2016 and lowering their combined 2014 cap hit by about 8 million dollars.
The third move involved making some cuts . 12 year veteran linebacker Larry Foote was the biggest name to go . Foote injured his biceps muscle in the season opener and was lost for the remainder of the 2013 season. Its rumored his playing days may be ending as Foote is about to turn 34 .
The Steelers also cut cornerback Curtis Brown and left tackle Levi Brown . Curtis Brown was a third round pick in 2011 but never panned out to be anything but a good special teams player. Brown was very inconsistent and plagued by injuries most of his career with the Steelers.
Levi Brown was from the Arizona Cardinals via trade in October of 2013 but never seen playing action, injuring his triceps during the pregame warm-ups before a game Oct. 13 and missing the rest of the season.
So Steeler Nation,here we sit five short days before the March 11th deadline and the beginning of free agency. The Steelers have made plenty of progress toward getting under the cap. It’s rumored that they may already be there but would like some more breathing room.
So now for a few of the remaining questions. With the signing of Worilds whats next for LaMarr Woodley? Will the Steelers ask him to take a pay cut? Will he be the next cut?
Kevin Colbert has said the team could keep Worilds and Woodley, but the truth is the chances of that happening are very slim.
Woodley is making too much money not to be a full-time starter,also injuries ,the signing of Worilds and the drafting of Jarvis Jones may spell the end for Woodley as a Steeler.
Next up, what will happen with long time starting cornerback Ike Taylor? Will he take a pay cut or be cut?
Taylor is scheduled to make $7 million in 2014 the final year of his contract . Taylors’ play in 2013 slipped a bit and the fact that Taylor is 33 and heading into his 12th season does not bode well for him making that kind of money at a time a players’ skills begin to fade.
The Steelers will have to do something here soon or this could be a problem.
Will the Steelers resign veteran leader wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery ?
Cotchery has became one of Ben Roethlisbergers‘ favorite targets especially in the red zone scoring 10 touchdowns in the 2013 season. Cotchery is a valuable leader on the field and in the locker room . He has been a great mentor to Markus Wheaton and could still help develop this young group of receivers.
The Steelers would love to resign him and I look for them to make this happen.
The Steelers have very little depth at many key positions especially at running back where Le’Veon Bell is the only sure thing to be with the team in 2014. Who will be the other running backs in the Steelers back field? The Steelers need to address this issue and the sooner the better.
Other positions that could use some depth are in the secondary, the defensive line, and at both linebacker positions. The Steelers may want to look into free agency for this depth and must make moves to gain more breathing room to have that chance.
Steeler Nation,the Steelers have made moves but still have many questions to be answered and the sooner the better.