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Old 03-01-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default Steelers plan to cut Smith and Kemoeatu

Steelers plan to cut Smith and Kemoeatu
Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 5:34 pm | Updated: 6:08 pm, Thu Mar 1, 2012.

By Mike Bires Times Sports Staff | 0 comments

For the second straight day, the Steelers have told one of their aging stars that they will be released. On Wednesday, it was wide receiver Hines Ward. Today, it was defensive end Aaron Smith.

Also, some of the Steelers' offensive linemen are using their Twitter accounts to say that guard Chris Kemoeatu has been cut.

Smith’s imminent release was almost expected. He’s been injured in four of the past five years and was seriously pondering retirement. He's missed 33 of the Steelers' last 48 regular-season games.

A fourth-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, Smith only played in one Pro Bowl. But the Steelers always considered him one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the league.

Likewise, Kemoeatu's release was expected. It's true that he battled through a nagging knee injury last year when he lost his starting job at left guard. But the coaching staff hasn't been satisfied with his play even when he was healthy.

By cutting Smith, 35, the Steelers will get $2.109 million of salary cap relief.

Kemoeatu, 29, was due to make $3.577 million this year.

Ward, 35, played 14 years for the Steelers and was the franchise’s all-time leading receiver with 1,000 career catches. He was due to make $4 million this year.

By parting ways with Ward, Smith and Kemoeatu, the Steelers get salary cap relief to a tune of $9.686 million
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