Lolley: Steelers' Contract Situations
by Dale Lolley
MONDAY, JANUARY 07, 2013
With the Steelers roughly 13 or so million dollars over next year's salary cap of $120 or so million, they will have some juggling to do to get under the cap and still be able to resign potential free agents, offer tenders to their restricted and exclusive rights free agents and sign their rookie class.
Here are the top 10 salaries headed into next year:
Ben Roethlisberger $19.6
LaMarr Woodley $13.2
Lawrence Timmons $11.16
Troy Polamalu $10.1
James Harrison $10.03
Ike Taylor $9.45
Heath Miller $7.95
Willie Colon $7.65
Antonio Brown $6.2
Ryan Clark $4.75
As you can see, the top of the pay scale tips heavily toward the defense - particularly in favor of the linebackers. That group of 10 players also accounts for roughly $100 million of the team's salary cap for 2013, leaving just $20 million to fill out the rest of the roster.
Now, there is some wiggle room there, such as turning base salary into signing bonus - something the Steelers have done quite a bit of in the past. The only problem with that is you have to be sure the player is going to be part of your plans in future seasons because it increases their cap hit down the road.
For example, a simple restructure for Roethlisberger would make sense, since you could turn his base salary into bonus money and save $7.1 million.
For a player such as Harrison, however, the savings would only be $2.8 million. And with Harrison at 35, that's probably not the way to go.
Just doing a simple restructure on all of their top 10 contracts - at least the ones they would be able to do so with - and the Steelers could create nearly $36 million in cap space.
But, that includes restructuring Harrison, Polamalu and Taylor - Clark can't be done since he is only signed through next season.
Take those three out of the equation, and you're looking at $27.2 million in savings, plenty enough wiggle room to do everything they need in the offseason without releasing any veterans.
And condemning the Steelers to Cap Hell in the future...
Schiavone's Race Career:
I don't thinks so Chadman. It is what they have to do. When the cap goes up and higher paid players leave it will even back out some. But there will be others that need paid? Unless they go to crap after ben and don't have any high paid players we will be in the upper end of the cap with good players.
Originally Posted by Chadman
Two options IMO:
1. Steelers do this and try to keep the core of the defense together one more season. Then through the draft the Steelers go offensive with most of their picks. See if you can make one more Super Bowl run with a better offense.
2. Your rip off the band-aid and start getting young fast. You rebuild as quick as you can and try to get another Super Bowl why Ben is in his prime.
BR-- I go for #2, I think this is the year we have to rip off the band aid and make major changes to set us up for the future. One more year with these players isn't getting it done. really think Troy or Harrison stay healthy for an entire season?
Originally Posted by BigRob
I can't agree...
Originally Posted by Oviedo
Rather than set up for the future, I think that the Steelers should take advantage of their franchise QB now...when Ben retires, or is no longer effective, will be the time to dismantle the team...
Out of those two options I would choose#1.
Originally Posted by BigRob
We lost 5 games by three points, win two and were in the playoffs. The offense is why we are sitting at home, and with a few additions it could make a difference winning those close games.
Injuries hurt us on our O-line, with that, the younger guys like Adams, Beachum, and a few games from DeCastro got playing time. That should help us next season and if we possibly could keep 5 starting guys healthy we should see improvement.
Besides the above we need a RB, is there a slight chance we keep Mendy or do we get one through the draft. I don't think WR is as critical even if Wallace bolts, we need that playmaker back first.
To keep Harrison he may have to restructure his contract, Foote accepts a decrease in his salary and we sign Keenan Lewis. Keeping those three would maintain the core for one more year, and see if the additions on offense will give us one more crack at a championship. If this fails, then in 2014 we could make more decisions to get younger and release older vets.
It could go either way depending on the front office, coaching staff in what they feel is the right direction to go.
For me, If we lose any of our D-players since they are the oldest its going to take some time to get back to a championship team. You lose Harrison,Foote, or Hampton we have to replace them with new guys, then next season Clark is even older and Troy as well and we'll need replacements for them too, don't forget Keisel he has only about another year left in the tank.
If they go with #2, we have to hope they find replacements for our older guys that will make an impact down the road while Ben is still there. Problem is how do you replace Players like Harrison? We seen that pic this year when he was out no one even close to what he does when healthy.
If we was a 5-11 team this season, I would say lets do option two and replace the older vets now, but since we're not that far off maybe we try one more time to make a run.
We have so many issues to contend with its tough to maintain a playoff team, is the 8-8 record the beginning of the end for our Steelers, or is it the beginning of another run? I honestly don't know, too much uncertainty as we move forward.
Hall of Famer
Ditch Woodley, Harrison and Colon then restructure Timmons and problem solved.
Originally Posted by Slapstick
We've got Ben for 5-6 more years baring injury (see making the OL Better). This team has too many holes and too many unreliable players to win in the next year or two. We have aging veterans whose time on the field and performance are slipping noticeably. Plus they are so expensive we are hamstrung to make moves that could help in the future like resigning Wallace.
The key to success is to know when to cut your losses and move on in a new direction. We have had a great ride but the horses are almost at the glue factory door.
And the plan for finding two starting OLBs that will actually be able to play for LeBeau is exactly what?
Originally Posted by Steelhere10