Mark March 15 as Steelers S-C Day - victory over the Salary Cap has been achieved.
After contract restructures by CB Ike Taylor, LBs Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley. OT Willie Colon and QB Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers found themselves right around the point where they could tender offers to all of their restricted free agents, and sign their impending draft picks.
NT Casey Hampton's $5.9 million contract wasn't restructured, and the thought was they were saving Snack's contract as the ace up their sleeve.
If that was the case, they played that ace Thursday, getting the 11-year veteran to trim his base salary from $4.89 million to $2.8 million, and eliminate a workout bonus, which was set at $1 million. A total of $3.09 million was trimmed from the salary cap, per BTSC friend Brian McIntyre.
This really should be the last salary cap-inspired move the Steelers make this offseason, and it could put them in a position to sign WR Mike Wallace to the long-term deal GM Kevin Colbert said was his priority this offseason. With the Steelers probably a bit north of $5 million under the cap, they could also retain the services of WR Jerricho Cotchery, who is currently a free agent.
The end result, essentially, is the Steelers paying a bit more in salary this year than in normal years, so BTSC is asking all Steelers fans to buy at least one more Steelers-licensed product as a way to say thanks to ownership for not completely gutting the team, the way some owners have done in the past.
(seems like a good spot to segue into a reminder about The Jersey Rules, which will be coming out in late July. The league switched its jersey manufacturer from Reebok to Nike, and the Committee is already leaning toward the purchase of at least one jersey of the new makers.)
Every cloud has a black and gold lining, though. The way I see it, without the need to track this information down seemingly on an hour-to-hour basis, the BTSC community never would have met McIntyre.
It's about the small things, ladies and gentlemen.