The NFLPA said Wednesday the Steelers are $1,051,934 under the 2014 NFL Salary Cap - the lowest amount of cap space in the league.
There have been reports the Steelers will sign a veteran running back by the end of this week. Connecting the two, limited cap space plus near-certainty of veteran running back signing equals another roster move coming.
It also means Maurice Jones-Drew's alleged talks with the team do not involve his fairly overinflated sense of market value, but that's another matter. Veteran running back is what the report said. There are lots of veteran running backs on the market, and many of them do not have three-letter nicknames or YouTube clips showing him punching college foes after a game.
Not to speak ill of either MJD or LeGarrette Blount, but all signs point toward there being no current discussions with Jones-Drew, a meeting scheduled with Blount that will most likely end in the two sides not seeing eye-to-eye on a contract (a team that can give Blount more carries and more money won't be hard for him to find) and a third as-of-now unidentified party stepping in to fill the role.
LaRod Stephens-Howling was good enough in free agency last year to be brought in, and had a pretty solid training camp. He's six months off surgery to repair a torn ACL he suffered after just a few snaps in Week 1, which would be the main problem he'd have.
Hate to bring it up, but Isaac Redman is also a veteran running back who has not yet signed with another team.
There are affordable options out there, and the two aforementioned ones have experience within the system, something the higher-priced options do not have. If the Steelers are looking to maximize their return for the dollar, continued continuity would be an ideal area to target.
The Steelers are reportedly scheduled to meet with Blount on Friday, and he very well could be their guy. Regardless, there's essentially no cap room available. He'd need something close to or at minimum, or the Steelers will simply wait until June, when $8 million clears up from LaMarr Woodley's contract coming off the books.