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Steelers Shave $8 Million From Salary Cap With Restructured Roethlisberger Contract

Local journalists and lowly internet hacks have never typed the word "restructure" as often as those covering the Steelers have this offseason.

This time, as expected, QB Ben Roethlisberger reportedly has agreed to restructure his contract, thus saving the Steelers $8 million against the salary cap this season.

Roethlisberger joins OT Willie Colon, CB Ike Taylor and LBs LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons on Team Restructure, and in total, it's saved Pittsburgh over $29 million.

It seems likely at this point the Steelers will be at or right around the salary cap for the team's top 51 contracts, which needs to happen by March 13. It's still up in the air if other moves, likely releases of a few players (notably LG Chris Kemoeatu) could free up a bit more cash to re-sign WR Mike Wallace, an impending restricted free agent, to a long-term deal.

Short of a long-term extension, the Steelers could either place the high level RFA tender on Wallace, making a team surrender their original first-round draft pick if they sign him to an offer sheet the Steelers choose not to match, or they could use a franchise tag on him, which would require another team to give up two first-round draft picks to sign him.

In turn, the Steelers would guarantee Wallace a one-year, $2.7 million (approximate) contract under RFA, or a one-year, $9.6 million (approximate) contract with the franchise tag.

A long-term deal wouldn't hit the cap nearly as hard, as the Steelers would be able to spread money over the multiple years of the contract. Wallace would get more money in the end as well.