Heath Miller restructuring highlights Pittsburgh’s salary-cap mess
Posted by Mike Florio on September 14, 2013, 7:04 AM EDT
It’s bad enough that the Steelers currently seem to be as bad as they’ve been in more than two decades. On top of the issues with football talent, the Steelers don’t have the cap space to make fixes on the fly.
As they try to change a flat tire of a moving car, the Steelers have had to also pour more gas in the tank. Of a moving car.
In the wake of a Week One injury debacle, tight end Heath Miller agreed to a restructured contract, as reported by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Per a league source, the deal gives the Steelers an extra $1.5 million in cap space, reducing Miller’s 2013 cap number from $7.96 million to $6.46 million.
The Steelers accomplished the move by paying him $3 million of his 2013 base salary now, as a signing bonus. That pushes half of the guaranteed payment into 2014.
Which means that, come 2014, the Steelers will have an even bigger cap mess. Miller’s cap number for the next league year has gone up by $1.5 million, pushing it to $9.46 million.
It’s one of many contracts bloated by restructurings that the Steelers will have to deal with in the offseason, when the car finally stops rolling and they decide how many more pieces they’ll need to replace.
But the move became necessary given the Week One season-ending injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Larry Foote, and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling. The Steelers desperately needed the cap space to sign replacements.
Eventually, they’ll have to start getting rid of recognizable names. Based on how this season could go, Steelers fans probably won’t be all that upset about it.