NFL News: Steelers Clearing Cap Space

As the Browns look to catch up with their division elite, the Steelers are making moves to cut cap space.  As opposed to the Browns who are under the cap, the Steelers are well over it.  But, they are trying to get better.

Today they cut cornerback Bryant McFadden and wide receiver Arnaz Battle from their roster.  That saved about $3.5 million.

Yesterday, the Steelers restructured one of their best players LaMarr Woodley.  Woodley was set to be a $11 million cap player this season, but through some wrangling he will count $5-ish million against the Steelers cap this season.

All this really does is get the Steelers lower, but still over or close to the number.  Not that you would expect it anyway, but the Steelers probably won’t be very active in free agency this off-season despite an aging roster.

Seems like good news for the Browns, but the Steelers are known for reloading on the fly, so we’ll see.

[Related: Report: Browns could have $20 million to spend in free agency]

  • FantasyTrophies

    now we just need them to screw up in the draft for a change and the Browns hit gold. 

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    How does Pittsburgh get a guy to take an over 50% pay cut???  If anyone knows the logistics of how you can do this, I’d really like to know.  

    If they promised him something like a contract extension Woodley is going to be sorely disappointed when they just cut him before the contract is fulfilled.  

  • They took part of his 2012 base salary and a “roster bonus,” converted it to a “signing bonus.”  

    The signing bonus can be pro-rated over the length of the contract as opposed to a roster bonus that counts all in one year.  So by giving him an $8.2 million signing bonus, you can divide that number by 5 which gives you $1.64 million and Woodley’s new base salary $700,000 and his cap number for 2012 is $2.34 million.  

    He still just got $8.2 million in bonuses yesterday, but the accounting changes thanks to ripping up his old contract and putting him on a new 5-year deal.

    They can only do this so many times though as the contract’s diminishing length will obviously continue to diminish the returns on restructuring.  Woodley is going to be paid about $9 million per season until 2017 when he is a free agent again.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    thanks Craig

  • steve-o

    Pittsburg can do this because they have young draftees waiting to take their place. They draft players that fit what they do and develop them. They also have stable ownership and management who are on board with this process.

    Cleveland is the opposite of this. We usually draft players to plug holes and develop on the fly, then change our management/coach/system and the players no longer fit (or never did in the first place). I think H&H are trying to change this but doing it all through the draft would be a painfully long process that may never play out (and one poor draft good derail the train). Lerner says he is on board but his record indicates he’ll blow this thing up again if he doesn’t see w’s soon.