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    Steelers restructure Stephon Tuitt’s contract...

    Steelers restructure Stephon Tuitt’s contract, creating $3.9 million in salary cap space

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have created some salary cap space by restructuring Stephon Tuitt’s contract prior to the 2019 regular season.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have some players they would like to extend prior to the 2019 regular season, but doing so is difficult without any salary cap space. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers have restructured Stephon Tuitt’s contract to create more salary cap space.

    Per Dulac, the Steelers turned Tuitt’s $6 million dollar base salary into a signing bonus, creating $3.9 million dollars in salary cap space throughout the process.

    This practice is common place for the Steelers, as this is status quo for them when it comes to restructuring contracts. However, the question turns from Tuitt’s restructure to what the team will want to do with the extra money.

    It has been obvious the team wants to extend Joe Haden’s contract, and while this might be the priority for the Steelers this offseason, there are other players who could be looking for a new contract as well. Javon Hargrave, Sean Davis and even someone like Tyler Matakevich could all benefit from new contracts, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.

    The Steelers are doing their diligence, and the next step will be the big one. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they press on to the 2019 regular season.

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    Stephon Tuitt shows flashes of what Steelers hope becomes the norm

    “We’re expecting big things from him,” coach Mike Tomlin says

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    AUG 26, 2019

    Stephon Tuitt said his teammates know the type of player he is and doesn’t think they need to see the kind of disruptive plays he made in Sunday night’s preseason victory in Tennessee to appreciate his value to the team.

    Still, it was probably important for him to remind them he can be the player the Steelers hoped he would be when they made him one of the highest paid defensive linemen in the league two years ago.

    He did that with two big sacks in a span of four plays in the first quarter against the Titans, one for a safety that started the scoring in the Steelers’ 18-6 victory.

    “Tuitt’s got all the skills,” said defensive end Cam Heyward. “When he puts on a show like that, it makes us all better.”

    Tuitt’s brief performance was mindful of what he did on the first two plays of the 2017 season opener in Cleveland, which, fittingly enough, came just one day after he signed a six-year, $64 million contract that made him the seventh highest-paid defensive end in the league.

    That, though, has been the exception, not the norm, for the 6-foot-6, 310-pound defensive end. Tuitt has not consistently made the amount of big plays commensurate with his big contract. The Steelers are hoping that will change as Tuitt, 26, enters his sixth season with the team.

    “We’re expecting big things from him,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s expecting big things from him. He’s had a good preseason, both in stadiums and out. That was not unlike what we’ve been looking at from him.”

    A No. 2 draft choice in 2014, Tuitt has just 20 sacks in 70 games in five seasons — 17½ fewer than Heyward in the same amount of games. He has never had more than 6½ sacks in a season (2015).

    But Tuitt started becoming more of a dominant player in the second half of the 2018 season, registering 5½ sacks and 14 quarterback hits in the final nine games. His performance against the Titans was another indication of what he is capable of doing to opposing interior linemen — and what the Steelers hope to see more of when the regular season begins in less than two weeks.

    “Everybody here in the locker room knows I can do that all the time,” Tuitt said in the Steelers locker room after the game. “My goal is to be more consistent with it and help impact the game as much as I can.”

    He had a big impact Sunday night. Tuitt sacked quarterback Marcus Mariota in the end zone for a safety after pushing guard Rodger Saffold backward from the 4-yard line. “That’s a sack and safety,” Tuitt said. “I don’t know how it gets better than that.” Four plays later, he beat the other guard, Kevin Pamphile, for a 7-yard sack on backup Ryan Tannehill.

    Afterward, Tuitt mused he would’ve liked to see what he could have done if he played all four quarters.

    “It’s not more me showing all the people, it’s just me consistently doing it,” Tuitt said. “In this defense, you’re going to have weeks when one guy is doing more than the other. We got a lot of terrific guys out there. Sometimes, some weeks, I’m going to be holding up two to three and other guys are going to make plays.

    “So I’m really OK how my position is. Whatever comes with me doing my job and being consistent and creating pressure helping us win games, that’s all I care about. But it is fun doing that.”

    Heyward said it was “very important” for Tuitt to have a performance like the one against the Titans..

    “It almost makes for a bigger balance,” Heyward said. “When Tuitt is on his game, they got to respect him. I’m going to be the biggest advocate because it gives me more 1-on-1s.”


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