It would appear that the Pittsburgh Steelers might be trying to make their first surprise move of the offseason, with it looking increasingly likely that Marcus Gilbert will either be traded or released in the coming days.
Gilbert was the first to alert fans to the fact that something was afoot with a social media post on Friday morning.
Next chapter— Marcus Gilbert (@MarcusGilbert88) March 8, 2019
And while that initially led everyone to believe he was about to be released.
Looks as if Steelers cut Marcus Gilbert. No confirmation yet from team https://t.co/4ZpGzy0U8l— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) March 8, 2019
A report from Adam Schefter of ESPN soon afterwards suggests the Steelers are at least attempting to trade him before letting him go outright.
Steelers are shopping starting RT Marcus Gilbert for a potential trade, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2019
Gilbert was set to earn a base salary of $4,865,103 this season in the last year of his deal and would have accounted for a salary cap hit worth $6,643,603 in 2019. Pittsburgh will now be left with $1,728,500 in dead money, but will save $4,915,103 in salary cap space, a figure that also includes a $50,000 workout bonus due later in the year. These figures will be the same regardless if he is traded or released.
While the veteran tackle has started 87 of the 88 regular season games he has played in, injuries have limited him to just 12 appearances over the last two seasons and he has missed more games than he has played in since the start of 2017. Limited by hamstring injuries, a suspension for PED use and then a knee injury that saw him placed on injured reserve in 2018, Gilbert’s name has often been mentioned as a potential cap causality this offseason given his recent injury history.
With options like Matt Feiler, Chukwuma Okorafor and Jerald Hawkins waiting in the wings, it would be fair to suggest that the Steelers might already have a viable replacement on the roster, especially with Feiler having filled in so admirably for Gilbert in 2018.