By Michelle Zehr, a contributing writer with Gold Star Games, your tailgating games company.
This off-season the Steelers continue to make cuts, clean house and purge their roster. Multiple sources –first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - indicate that guard Chris Kemoeatu and defensive end Aaron Smith have been cut from the team.
A seven year-veteran of the Steelers, Kemoeatu stated eight games for the Steelers last season, which was his lowest number of starts since the 2007 season. NFL.com indicates that Aaron Smith, a productive defensive end frequently used in the team’s 3-4 scheme has also been cut.
This news comes shortly after the release of 14-year Steeler veteran, four-time Pro-Bowlers and Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward had been released.
Ward, Smith and Kemoeatu are not the only causalities of the Steelers’ salary cap this offseason. The Steelers have also released wide receiver Arnaz Battle and cornerback Bryant McFadden. James Farrior also found himself on the casualty list after his agent expressed concerns that he was next.
Without a doubt, the Steelers have had a busy offseason. The offseason has been jammed-packed with movies to get the team under salary cap. The new year for the National Football League begins on March 13th. However, not everyone is getting the boot. So far, the Steelers have restructured contracts for Ben Roethlisberger, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley and Willie Colon.
With March 13th quickly approaching, chances is are this is not the last we will hear of cuts and contract restructuring within the next couple of weeks.
But, are these cuts a good thing? For those of us, who have essentially grown up watching Hines Ward, Farrior and many other players, we may think: can Steeler football really go on without these guys? For those of us who purchased a shiny, new jersey last season of a guy that is no longer with the team, we may be flat out frustrated.
If you are at all like me, you always manage to purchase the wrong jersey. I bought a Willie Parker jersey years ago, only for him to hurt his toe within days of my purchase. Who would have thought a toe would leave me with a jersey that I no longer wanted to wear?
Despite being upset, for most over the lose of Hines Ward, we can look at it this way. Many of these guys are getting older and less productive. Perhaps, it is time to get some younger, more productive faces in there even though it may seen a little strange for awhile.