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A look ahead: The Steelers free agents in 2015

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The Steelers currently have a large number of players out of contract next year, some of whom figure to be significant starters in 2014 and it seems the turnover of the roster still has a little way to go yet.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The last few years has seen a number of fan favorites departing Pittsburgh for reluctant retirement or a payday with a lesser NFL franchise. 2015 will be no exception in that regard as Ike Taylor likely heads off into the sunset retiring as a life long Steelers.

Big decisions will need to be made, if they don't happen this off-season, for impending free agents Maurkice Pouncey, Jason Worilds and Cortez Allen among others with 16 players eligible for unrestricted free agency.

Having established a figure for expected Salary Cap space of a little over $20 million in 2015 the Steelers will be in a better position than in recent years to retain a good number of the 43 players out of contract next year if they should wish but it is unlikely they will be able to keep all of the more significant names.

The more obvious names looking likely to be playing their last year in Pittsburgh in 2014 seem to be Shaun Suisham who may be victim to the rising cost of kickers in the NFL if a cheaper option could be found. He has proved to be quite reliable but leg strength has not been his friend and that doesn't figure to get better with age. Matt Spaeth is another that could be looking for work elsewhere if a pick is spent on a tight end this year or if David Paulson or Michael Palmer can stake a claim to be the second string tight end. Marcus Gilbert certainly will have something to prove if he hopes to receive a second contract from the Steelers as will Chris Carter.

Assuming they all make the final roster, with a good year players like Arthur Moats, Brice McCain, Adam Podlesh or Darrius Heyward-Bey could make a claim for a long term deal in Pittsburgh. However it would be a stretch to imagine all four being brought back again next season.

Kevin Colbert has often said the Steelers keep an eye on the following years expected free agents when addressing the draft the year before and there is a good chance that decisions made this year will give clues about which players they intend letting go next year.

With four defensive backs and five linebackers set to be unrestricted free agents next season it is no surprise both positions have been the most invited out of all draftees to Pittsburgh. To date the Steelers have met with eight DBs and seven LBs.

Technically as of today Cam Heyward should be on this list as a free agent next year but as the Steelers are expected to exercise his fifth year option between now and May 3rd he has been factored into the active roster numbers instead.

The complete list of players out of contract at the end of 2014 as it stands right now:

Player Position Type Age 2014 Cap Hit
Jason Worilds OLB UFA 26 $9,754,000
Ike Taylor CB UFA 33 $7,692,404
Maurkice Pouncey C UFA 24 $5,264,000
Shaun Suisham K UFA 32 $1,762,500
Cortez Allen CB UFA 25 $1,528,875
Matt Spaeth TE UFA 30 $1,037,500
Marcus Gilbert OT UFA 26 $1,026,905
Chris Carter OLB UFA 24 $685,700
Kion Wilson ILB UFA 27 $645,000
Will Allen S UFA 31 $635,000
Arthur Moats ILB UFA 26 $635,000
Greg Warren LS UFA 32 $635,000
Guy Whimper G UFA 30 $635,000
Brice McCain CB UFA 26 $635,000
Darrius Heyward-Bey WR UFA 27 $635,000
Adam Podlesh P UFA 30 $570,000
Vic So'oto OLB UFA 27 $570,000
Michael Palmer TE UFA 26 $570,000
Robert Golden S RFA 23 $571,667
Antwon Blake S RFA 23 $570,000
Will Johnson FB RFA 25 $570,000
David Snow G ERFA 24 $570,000
Terence Garvin ILB ERFA 23 $495,000
Isaiah Green S ERFA 24 $495,000
Derek Moye WR ERFA 25 $495,000
Ross Ventrone S RFA 27 $495,000
Brian Arnfelt DE ERFA 24 $495,000
Alvester Alexander RB ERFA 23 $420,000
Justin Brown WR ERFA 23 $420,000
Bryant Browning OT RFA 25 $420,000
Danny Coale WR ERFA 25 $420,000
Jasper Collins WR ERFA 22 $420,000
Jordan Dangerfield S ERFA 23 $420,000
Bryce Davis LS RFA 24 $420,000
Chris Hubbard G ERFA 22 $420,000
Al Lapuaho DT ERFA 22 $420,000
Miguel Maysonet RB ERFA 24 $420,000
Daniel Molls ILB ERFA 23 $420,000
Kashif Moore WR RFA 25 $420,000
Tauren Poole RB RFA 24 $420,000
Lanear Sampson WR ERFA 23 $420,000
Devin Smith CB ERFA 24 $420,000
Brad Wing P ERFA 23 $420,000