It certainly didn't take long for former Pittsburgh Steelers left guard Willie Colon to find a new home.
Jets have signed OL Willie Colon to a 1 yr deal. Another potential steal if he can stay healthy— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 15, 2013
While Colon was perceived as a risk for injury in Pittsburgh, New York moved quickly to add his passion and ability to their roster, which is in desperate need for both.
The Steelers released Colon on a June 1st designation, which means the team is forced to carry his salary on the ledger to be counted against the cap until said date, when the team will finally be allowed to reap the savings benefit. Once his release becomes official then, the team will only be held accountable this year for the pre-determined dead money scheduled for this year from his original signing bonus. The last two-years pro-rations will be held against 2014, meaning the team will save about $5.5 million against the salary cap in 2013.
While Colon wanted to remain in Pittsburgh, there was little chance the team would honor his $5.5 million base salary after he failed to finish any of the last three seasons on the field, even though each instance was unrelated to any previous injuries. Interestingly enough, it has been reported Colon was not even asked about taking a paycut. He was simply released once Ramon Foster was under contract once again.
This isn't the first time the Jets have scooped up a disgruntled and discharged Steelers left guard. The Jets jumped on former Steelers offensive lineman Alan Faneca when his time in Pittsburgh came to a bitter end.
If Colon can stay healthy, he can be an asset to a team struggling to rebuild its identity. If he gets injured again, the Steelers will be able to not regret letting him walk; although, depending on the performance of the young line Colon left behind, the team may not miss him at all.