Even with the Pittsburgh Steelers restructuring Ben Roethlisberger’s contract, these three players could be considered cap casualties prior to the start of the league year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers‘ 2020 season started off with Super Bowl and undefeated aspirations but ended in a Wild Card Round exit at the hands of the once lowly but now up-and-coming Cleveland Browns. The misery only got worse for the Steelers, as they entered the offseason significantly over the cap due to the $41 million salary-cap hit owned by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
There was hope for Steelers fans on Thursday, as Roethlisberger was signed to a new contract with the team. As a result, the veteran quarterback’s cap hit sits at $25.9 million for this upcoming season. With that, the Steelers currently sit with $3 million in cap space. But, they can free up some extra spending money by cutting ties with expensive contracts.
Here are three of the most likely candidates to be released by the Steelers as cap casualties.
LB Pittsburgh Steelers
Vince Williams has been with the Steelers organization since 2013 as a sixth-round draft pick out of Florida State. But, he could find himself on the way out of Pittsburgh prior to the start of the 2021 league year on March 17.
This past season, Williams recorded 70 total tackles (14 for loss), four quarterback hits, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. The Steelers linebacking corps was pummeled by injuries, with the most prominent being Devin Bush and Bud Dupree, who both tore their ACLs this past season.
Williams is entering the final season of his three-year $18.6 million contract at the age of 31. He carries a $7 million cap hit in 2021 and the Steelers could free up around $4 million in cap space by releasing him from his deal. Given the Steelers have a staggering 18 players set to hit unrestricted free agency, they may have no choice but to part ways with the veteran linebacker.