Guy Whimper contract puts Steelers $2.4 under 2014 salary cap

USA TODAY Sports

The light-hearted comparison to a sweater at Christmas sucks into Pittsburgh's precarious salary cap position. It begs the question of whether anything else is coming.

Signing Guy Whimper to a one-year contract equates roughly to getting a sweater for Christmas as a 12-year-old. You're old enough where you know you can't express disappointment, but you're also old enough to be aware the finite resource in the gift pool is just that much smaller.

Whimper's contract shaved off about $1 million from the Steelers' salary cap, putting them at about $2.4 million with both running back James Starks and wide receiver Lance Moore coming to Pittsburgh Tuesday. Jerricho Cotchery is still a pending free agent, and Alex Carrington has to/had to have looked nice at some point.

Like that 12-year-old carrying the red-and-green monstrosity, hoping not to hear the dreaded words, "try it on!", we latch onto hope the Steelers have one of two deals pending - the expected extension for Jason Worilds or a restructure of contract for linebacker Lawrence Timmons.

If the Steelers are looking to sign multiple players, some they will absolutely need (there is no depth at receiver or running back behind Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, respectively), a deal for Worilds will have to be worked out.

Another way to look at this, though, is the fact the Steelers will have eight offensive linemen under contract heading into camp. That's a position that will really not have to be looked at in terms of draft picks, which also means it's not a position unit they can expect to grow old quickly. Neither the running backs nor the receivers are old, either, and the linebackers got dramatically younger with the release of Larry Foote and, in terms of old man injuries, LaMarr Woodley.

In building a young team, they'll still need veterans to fill in spots and push starters, or hold off challengers. Perhaps that's where Whimper really fills in - a player/coach kind of job.

There are parts of the country that are so cold some days in January, you realize warmth is more important than looks, and you can usually get a long-sleeve t-shirt over an ugly sweater. If it's warm enough, you're willing to overlook its hideousness.

So while the Steelers remain resigned to re-signing sweaters, and the idea of the Red Rider B.B. gun is pretty much gone, there are still some cool stuff under the tree. They just need to clear some more stuff out to find them.

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