Steelers sit at the salary cap after furious activity

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Reports put the Steelers anywhere from even with the $133 million salary cap or $1 million over it after extensions were given to Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller, and veterans Larry Foote, Levi Brown and Curtis Brown were released.

If Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and capologist Omar Khan went out for a beer Wednesday evening, you couldn't blame them.

After putting the finishing touches on one of the most active roster transaction days in franchise history, catching a moment to exhale seemed fitting. Getting Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller to agree to basically spread the money they were owed this year into two-year extensions saved the team around $8 million, and the releases of Larry Foote, Levi Brown and Curtis Brown added another $8 million, reported Steel City Insider publisher Jim Wexell.

Jason at Over The Cap puts the Steelers about $1 million over the cap, and both sides may not have the exact figure. Bigger picture, though, the Steelers made a few tough decisions, but made a lot of smart decisions.

Miller's deal is said to be a new three-year contract worth $14 million. A total of $5 million of that comes in the form of a signing bonus. Polamalu's deal is worth $20 million over three years, also a big savings being made, and keeping him in Pittsburgh until 2016.

In many ways, these moves were expected, or at least, weren't surprising. Both Miller and Polamalu have no rival for their starting positions, and will be considered key players for the team in 2015. It also lends some belief to the idea the selection of a safety or a tight end early in the 2014 NFL Draft will not be as much a priority as once believed they could be.

The moves created a collective sigh of relief among anxious fans who, without insight into the negotiation process, couldn't be blamed for assuming the worst. While there are still moves for the team to make, the activity seen on Wednesday, March 5 should be a precursor to an aggressive posture through the remainder of the offseason.

Needless to say, this won't be the last transaction recap report you'll read this offseason. Stay tuned.

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