The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for free agency and have made some major moves on Wednesday. The roster moves were all in an effort to clear cap space, be it by keeping some of their household names for the foreseeable future or shedding other familiar faces from the roster.
In the positive column, the Steelers were able to extend safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller. Though the deals are technically called extensions, they could be viewed as team-friendly re-structures. The Pro Bowl tight end's new deal saves the Steelers over $3.3 million in cap space. Polamalu, a 12-year veteran, was carrying a cap hit just under $11 million before the new deal.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, they weren't able to re-structure other players' contracts in a similar fashion. The team also announced Wednesday that they released three other players:
We have released linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive tackle Levi Brown.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 5, 2014
Curtis Brown was a third round pick back in 2011 out of Texas and was primarily a backup in his three seasons as a Steeler. Offensive tackle Levi Brown carried a $6.5 million cap hit for 2014 and gives Pittsburgh much-needed space. The Foote release may sting longtime fans of the Black and Yellow though, as he has spent 11 of his 12 NFL seasons in The Steel City. Nevertheless, both Foote and Curtis Brown ended the 2013 season prematurely because of major injuries.
All three are able to sign with a team as soon as they are able.