Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Steelers Extend Miller, Polamalu; Cut Foote In Salary Cap Moves

Everyone just stay calm. What you smell from the South Side is just the smoke coming from the pens of Omar Khan and GM Kevin Colbert as the Pittsburgh Steelers cut costs.

The biggest two names involved in the process are strong safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller as each signed three-year extensions, first reported by NFL Network's Ian Rappaport and the National Football Post's Len Pasquarelli and since confirmed by Steelers.com.

Miller, who's negotiations were first announced Tuesday, is now to receive base salaries of $1.02 million in 2015, and $4 million in both of the subsequent years. Though, from what I've gathered, there is no guaranteed money in 2015 and 2016.

More immediately important is that his Salary Cap number down to $6,133,166 for this year. That is an approximate $3.4 million Cap savings from the previous $9.5 million Cap hit the Steelers were due to take.

The normally sure-handed Miller is essentially set up to retire a Steeler now. He is considered by many, most of whom tend to say "yinz" a lot, to be the best all-around tight end in the game. Something that one of his former coaches still touts. - http://tinyurl.com/kgck3c9

Polamalu, currently 32 years old, signed a similar extension. His was a three-year extension that lowers his 2014 Cap number by $4.5 million (it was $10.887M).

Per The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette from his Twitter (@EdBouchette) account, "Polamalu gets no new money to extend his deal by 2 years. #Steelers converted $6.75M of his $8.2 M '14 salary into bonus. Gets $1.5 M base."

Entering the final year of his four-year, $36.5 million contract, the guy with the hair, who had been very erroneously rumored to be cut. The City of Bridges would have seen jumps from some and burnings of others if the Steelers had made that move.

But, the man who is tied for seventh all-time on the Steelers interception list and who was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 5 safety in the league last season will retire a Steeler.

As for the other moves, it was announced first thing Wednesday morning that free safety Will Allen re-signed with the team, according to he and his agent Blake Baratz.

In just 12 games last season after returning to the team from Dallas, Allen, 32 in June, had 35 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass defense. His solid, veteran play and leadership will be needed again as the Steelers look to get younger in their secondary.

Speaking of getting younger, the Steelers announced the release of veteran inside linebacker Larry Foote. After signing a three-year extension last season, If It Ain't Steel said that he would likely only see one year of that deal. One year later...

He was set to earn $1.5 million this season. This gives the Steelers a Cap savings of $833,333 minus the $666,667 still owed him (dead money).

His ruptured biceps injury, and the steadily improved play of 2013 sixth-round NFL Draft choice Vince Williams, made his departure a sure thing.

The 11-year Steeler will be 34 in June and may hang up his cleats. He leaves with 621 tackles, 21 sacks, 19 PDs, nine FFs, seven FRs, three INTs and a safety for his career.

Offensive lineman Levi Brown was released as expected. The 2013 mid-season acquisition from the Arizona Cardinals never played for the Steelers and will clear $6.25 million from the Cap.

Curtis Brown, third-round Texas product from the 2011 Draft, never really panned out and was cut. His release frees up $645,000.

Injuries played into his exit as well. NFL writer and reporter Brian McIntyre reported via his Twitter (@brian_mcintyre) account that the "Steelers released Levi Brown and Curtis Brown with "Failed Physical" designations."

Add the money saved from the extensions, which essentially just moves money forward, to the contract cuts and the Steelers shaved approximately $15,628,333 million from the Cap and are very close to being compliant.

Next up are the contract situations with cornerback Ike Taylor, outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, the re-signing of wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and people keep suggesting another extension, one for someone named Ben...