Much like the first small firework of a Fourth of July celebration, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced today that they have re-structured the contract of right tackle Marcus Gilbert.
The move frees up about $3.74 million in cap space. Per Field Yates of ESPN, they took his $3.5 million roster bonus and $1.15 million of his salary and put it into a signing bonus, pushing the cap hit into the future.
This is a relatively small burst compared to what I believe is coming over the next few days and weeks from the front office. I’ll share those thoughts in a minute but I also have to say I’m concerned that the Steelers are following a dangerous pattern of shifting salaries down the road.
It’s something that has come back to haunt them in recent years. The saving grace in this case is that the cap and the team’s cap should see much more wiggle room so I’m not going to lose sleep over Gilbert’s new deal.
So what’s yet to come?
Look for Cam Thomas and Lance Moore to both get released which will surprise absolutely no one. Moore wants out and Thomas would have to be a fool not to to know he’s getting the boot following a poor season on the defensive line.
Obviously the contract of Ben Roethlisberger is still in the air but as fellow SCB writer Chris pointed out, the last time he was extended the date was March 2nd so look for it somewhere around then which is just a few more days from now.
Don’t be surprised to see another contract re-structure either. Perhaps Maurkice Pouncey is a candidate for this?
While I’m not going to predict it, don’t be surprised if the Steelers move on Cortez Allen who is due a roster bonus if he is still on the roster on March 14th. I think they ride with him for another year but don’t be surprised if he’s cut.
Lastly the four veterans… I’m hearing that Troy Polamalu told the team he wants to return but I don’t think the feeling is mutual. If accurate, Polamalu would have to cut or traded and I don’t see anyone trading for him.
Ike Taylor is definitely done in Pittsburgh. Brett Keisel will have an open door I believe meaning if the team still needs defensive line depth late in the preseason he could be back.
Same goes for James Harrison who earlier this week made it clear he wants to play in 2015. The Steelers have to be careful here because if they wait to long I can see him going to Tennessee to join Dick LeBeau.