Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Steelers Salary Cap Blues; Several Impressive Prospects: Vaccaro, Cooper, Ball and Allen

Steelers Salary Cap Challenges

When taking the top 51 contracts for the Steelers, they need to clear about $14 million to comply with the projected $121 million salary cap.

The Steelers will undoubtedly try to restructure some of the high salary cap numbers including James Harrison at $10 million and Polamalu at $10.3 million. Harrison's agent is on record saying Harrison will not take a pay cut.

GM Kevin Colbert said last week, "We've got to be prepared, both from a salary cap standpoint and a talent standpoint to make these changes. It's really not any more sophisticated than in previous years."

Today it was reported the Steelers restructured Antonio Brown's contract. Brown reduced his $4.5 million contract to $650,000 with the remaining money rolled over into a signing bonus according to Pro Football Talk. According to the report, the deal will save the Steelers $3.08 million next season. It's also being reported that Roethlisberger is considering restructuring his contract as well to help create salary cap space.

Laurence Timmons contract was restructured on Tuesday.

Restructuring these contracts and more will enable the Steelers to meet the March 12, 2013 deadline. However, it may leave the Steelers little room to deal with free agents.

Steelers Have Their Eyes On Kenny Vaccaro, Jonathan Cooper, Montee Ball And Keenan Allen

With the first week of evaluations completed at the NFL combine, it appears the Steelers are taking a hard look at Kenny Vaccaro of Texas as insurance for Polamalu especially considering Troy's injuries the last two seasons.

It's also been reported that the Steelers are interested in Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina who would fill the need for third interior linemen. Cooper is smaller and a good athlete who is quick, exactly what offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr., is looking for.

It's also no secret that the Steelers will be in need of good running back. It's been reported the Steelers met with Montee Ball of Wisconsin. At 5'10" tall and 214 pounds, Ball might just fit that need. In addition, his career 77 rushing touchdowns is impressive.

California's Keenan Allen might also make a tempting target for Roethlisberger at 6'2" with some impressive speed.

Sources: USA TODAY, Fox Sports, Bleecher Report, SBnation and