DISCLAIMER: The salary information I write about is very informal and perhaps uninformed. Though none of us can know the exact data, please correct me if I am off base significantly.
Many are predicting the 2012 NFL Salary Cap to be around $124 million. That being the case, the Steelers were roughly $22 million over the cap. Steeler Nation has been a bit apprehensive and nervous about how the club was going to shave that $22 million, especially in light of making space for incoming rookies and perhaps (unlikely) a free agent or two. Likely casualties might be long-time veterans, and may still be, but at least the outlook just became much less weighty. The Steelers have cut their problem in half.
The biggest move was to re-structure LaMarr Woodley. He was scheduled to receive $3.4 million in base with a $11.5 cap hit, adding bonuses. The re-structure brought Woodley's base down to $700,000. Moreover, deferrals lowered his cap hit to to roughly $5 million, a savings of $6.5 million off the 2012 cap. Thanks Woodman
In other moves, the team released Bryant McFadden, Arnaz Battle and Erik Clanton. McFadden will always be remembered for saving the famous 2005 Colts playoff game by defending Reggie Wayne in the end zone, as a rookie, in the last minute of that great upset. His release saves $2.5 million and leaves $200,000 of dead money. Arnaz Battle saves a little more than a million, leaving $323,000 of dead money and Clanton saves about a half million.
All told, the Steelers are now roughly at $135 million in salary. Their $22 million dilemma is now a more reasonable $11 million. Some pain still to come, but now maybe less dramatic. Happy day :)