The Pittsburgh Steelers have made several cuts Monday to get their salary cap numbers in order prior to the start of the new league year. Players like Johnny Holton, Anthony Chickillo and Mark Barron were told their services were not longer needed, thus freeing up valuable salary cap space after placing the franchise tag on Bud Dupree.
There was a name missing everyone was waiting to see...
Foster was obviously going to be a cap casualty, and reports circulated the Steelers were trying to shop Foster, like they did Marcus Gilbert, to get a late round pick rather than just cutting ties with the undrafted guard out of Tennessee.
Instead, Foster decided to call it a career via his official Instagram page:
Steelers veteran OL Ramon Foster announces on Instagram that he is retiring pic.twitter.com/D4LLasujLK— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) March 16, 2020
Foster, who has never played for another team since going undrafted, calling it a career is surprising, but in hindsight makes sense. Rather than play elsewhere, he decided enough was enough.
On top of that, Foster’s retirement does serve a purpose when it comes to the Steelers’ current salary cap conundrum. As Ray Fittipaldo, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, points out, it will save the Steelers roughly $4 million dollars on the 2020 cap.
Ramon Foster announces his retirement. He played 11 seasons for the Steelers. He played in 160 games, with 145 starts. Full-time starter since 2011 and the starting RG in Super Bowl XLV. Oh and that's another $4 million off the cap.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) March 16, 2020
Add the $4 million saved from Foster, and add it to the roughly $11 million from the trio of cuts made earlier in the day, and the Steelers are close to having enough space to accommodate Dupree’s hefty franchise tag.
There are still moves to be made. The club’s decision on Vance McDonald’s option, re-structuring contracts and potentially handing out new deals. All are options for the Steelers at this point, so stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they press on towards free agency.
But lastly, we here at BTSC want to thank Foster “the big Ragu” for all the memories over the years. He was a consummate professional and a one-of-a-kind dude off the field. You will be missed!