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Old 07-06-2013, 06:10 AM   #1
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Default With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves?

By Kyle Curry on July 5, 2013

During most the of the 2013 off-season the Pittsburgh Steelers were stuck in, what is referred to as, ďsalary cap hell.Ē Their salary cap issues this off-season led to the release of 2008 Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison. It also made it impossible for the team to bring back long-time starters Casey Hampton and Max Starks.

Releasing James Harrison and Willie Colon gave them the necessary cap space to make some small moves in free agency. They were still able to sign Larod Stehpens-Howling out of free agency and resign Emmanuel Sanders and Steve McLendon.

Colonís $5.5 million cap hit became available in June after he was designated as a June cut back in March. That cap room made it possible for the Steelers to sign all of their draft picks. However, their draft picks did not take up much of that cap space and they still have plenty of money to spend.

That $4.4 million could go a long way depending on what they decide to use it on. They could also choose not to use that cap space and let it roll over into next off-season so that they have more space to work with in 2014, but there are also things they could use it on this off-season.

The Steelers will have some high-profile free agents once again in 2014. Ryan Clark, Brett Keisel, Emmanuel Sanders, Ziggy Hood, Jason Worilds, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer will all be free agents next off-season. They also have Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Heath Miller, Maurkice Pouncey, Cameron Heyward, Marcus Gilbert, and Cortez Allen all hitting free agency in 2015.

There is a good chance that Clark, Keisel and one of Redman and Dwyer could all be gone next off-season due to age for the first two and a log-jam at running back for the second two. Even so, the Steelers may want to sign Sanders to an extension so they donít face another Mike Wallace situation this season and next off-season.

As for Hood and Worilds both players have yet to play up to expectations, but both players are expected to be starters in 2013. If Worilds plays well as a starter it will be harder to keep him next off-season, but the Steelers now have Jarvis Jones in waiting. Hood is the same way; if he plays well in 2013 his price will go way up form where it stands now.

The team will also be looking to sign Pouncey, Gilbert, Miller, Allen and possibly Ben Roethlisberger all to extensions next off-season so that they donít become free agents in 2015. That will require a lot of cap space, which means they could just let that $4.4 million roll into next off-season to give them more room to make those deals.

There is still a chance they could use some of that money to make some more moves this off-season. Their veteran depth on the offensive line and at safety is a bit worrisome and if the injury bug hits either of those positions they will need to add some depth.

Plenty of good veteran free agents are still looking for jobs at tight end, full-back, offensive tackle and safety. If the Steelers see any signs of worry with any of their young players who are set to fill larger roles in 2013 itís possible they could make a move.

Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams are set to take over the two offensive tackle spots, but Gilbert has struggled with injuries and Adams had injury issues in his rookie year. If either player suffers an injury in training camp the Steelers may be forced to sign a veteran free agent to come in.

Many fans have been clamoring for the Steelers to sign former-Ravens full-back Vonta Leach:

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar...eeves/13978426
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

We have $4.4 mill as we stand, with another $600k from expected roster cuts. That leaves us with about $5 mil at the end of camp if we do nothing.

Typically, we go into a season with about $2 mil for emergencies, leaving a net $3 mil to work with. I would be shocked if either Sanders or Worilds sign an extension at this point, and it isn't enough to offer a meaningful extension for Ben.

IMO, unless there is a FA that comes available, it's going to roll over for next year.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

Personally, I'd like to see some money used to bring in a couple more decent o-line backups from pre-season cuts from other teams. We have a solid starting lineup in place, but lack much depth and proven skill on the bench outside of Beachum. Maybe Embernate or Golic Jr., can surprise in camp, but right now I feel like we're weak at o-line depth.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

Clark and Keisel will almost surely be gone next season.....
Damn....did i just say that!
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

It'd be neat to bring in Vonta Leach for the year or 2 to really give Bell some holes to open up but i doubt that'll happen.


I guess it depends on how much longer Clark and Keisel plan on playing also
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

If we "have anything up our sleeves" it better be directed to creating depth at the O-line.

Once again it's our weakest link and we all know what happens to an offense with an O-line that is ineffective (no running game, QB getting injured).

Been there......done that.

Leach is tempting as a lead blocker, but Will Johnson based on what he showed last year can probably grow into that role.......and he's much cheaper.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

$3 million for Cortez Allen's new 5 year/$30 million contract.

$3 million
$6 million
$6 million
$7 million
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebsteelers View Post
It'd be neat to bring in Vonta Leach for the year or 2 to really give Bell some holes to open up but i doubt that'll happen.


I guess it depends on how much longer Clark and Keisel plan on playing also
I think they have faith in Wil Johnson , so I doubt they spend money on Leach.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: With Cap Space to Spend do the Pittsburgh Steelers Have Anything Up Their Sleeves

I agree on the OL; I think adding a solid, vet OT would be wise. You know our history of injuries. Stack up on OT. Either Gilbert or Adams could go down. We need depth or the season will be lost, once again.
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