Report: Steelers Over The Cap Now, Restructured Deals Begin At Start Of New League Year

EDIT: 

Schefter has since tweeted the Steelers are one of five teams over the cap, and are $8.5 million on the wrong side. 

As I wrote previously, Schefter doesn't specify anything about other arrangements that were made, but have not yet been consummated due to the league year not officially starting yet. It's likely that Schefter's report is technically accurate, because the moves the Steelers made to be under the cap are not yet official. 

Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted early Thursday morning the Steelers are approximately $11 million over the set salary cap for the 2011 season. 

Schefter_medium

One of the drawbacks of reporting 140 characters at a time is the lack of space for explanation.

Is that figure taking into account the recent contract restructures of Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison? Is it a figure that includes the extra $3 million of cap space that can be borrowed from future seasons? Does it factor in the veteran re-signing dollars that won't count against the cap? 

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement is just that; new. There's a lot to analyze, and while I'm not suggesting Schefter doesn't know or understand what he's talking about, it's difficult to discern at this point whether the Steelers really are that far over the cap, after resigning key veterans Ike Taylor and Willie Colon to multi-year, multi-million dollar deals. 

Still, with the league year likely to begin at 4 p.m. ET today, the league mandate that the top 51 players for each team, salary wise, count against the cap ends. It brings up the possibility the Steelers could witness a few cap casualties between today and Friday. 

Aaron Smith is likely the first name to come to mind. A stalwart and arguably the most respected player on the roster, his salary may just be too high. 

Another possibility would be signing LaMarr Woodley to a long-term deal, which would substantially reduce his cap figure for the 2011 season. Considering Kansas City's Tamba Hali just signed a five year, $60 million deal with $35 million guaranteed, it'd be naive to suggest Woodley would sign for much less than that. 

Veteran LB Larry Foote and possibly WR Arnaz Battle may come up in those discussions as well. 

Weigh in below, what do the Steelers need to do to get below the cap? 

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