If Steelers’ beleaguered cornerback Cortez Allen is still on the roster as of March 14th, he receives a $3 million roster bonus. Will the team want to pay him that much for being a likely back-up and special teams player?
If they cut him prior to June 1st, they can save some money. His dead money would be less than $2 million this year and would be just over $4 million in 2016. With the Steelers still on the hook for over $8 million to LaMarr Woodley, that would be a lot of dead money.
However, with the salary cap expected to rise significantly in the next two years, the Steelers could have as much as $60 million in spending cash for 2016.
There may be a problem just as big as the financial one though for the Steelers. What is the mindset of Cortez Allen heading into 2015?
General Manager Kevin Colbert said this week that Allen “lost confidence because of all of the flags” early in the season. If Allen is struggling with his confidence regarding flags, then what must he feel like in regards to actually stopping receivers?
One of the oldest sayings in football is that a cornerback has to have a short memory. He cannot dwell on receptions given up or touchdowns caught on his watch. He must jump right back in and play as though they never happened.
Allen was a fourth round pick from The Citadel who made his mark more as a special teams player than anything and that was a role (along with being a nickel or dime CB) that I thought he would excel in.
Instead, the front office and coaching staff believed Allen to be capable of being a starter in the NFL. So much so they gave him a pile of cash just before the regular season started last fall.
Allen’s problems aren’t just financial and they aren’t just in pass coverage either. There was a lot of discussion about his poor tackling. One source I spoke with said this was the biggest reason he was benched.
I’m not 100% certain that Allen will return in 2015. The Steelers realized the mistake they made in letting Keenan Allen go and now they are faced with a similar dilemma where perhaps they will hang on too long.
photo courtesy steelers.com