The Steelers have made their first significant move of the offseason, releasing veteran LB Joey Porter. The move doesn't come as a surprise, as Porter was slated to earn $6 million in 2007, a vast sum for an aging player who didn't perform well in 2006.
Porter had become the face of the Steelers defense, mostly because of his loud mouth on and off the field. The Steelers undeniably benefitted from Porter's leadership at times, but as his performance declined, his routine got a bit stale.
The Steelers knew that Porter would be a distraction this offseason. With his contract expiring at the end of the 2007 season, Porter would have most likely demanded an extension during camp. We don't need any distractions this offseason while we adjust to the way Mike Tomlin does things. Porter certainly had the most potential to be disruptive.
The decisions makes perfect business sense, but let's not forget what Porter contributed to this franchise. During our historic Super Bowl run, Porter played some of his best football, and we may not have gotten one for the thumb had he not been as effective pressuring the quarterback as he was.