The news which broke Thursday afternoon shouldn’t shock anyone. Throughout the offseason, and some might say even back in 2020, David DeCastro and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been “off”. With reports of the Steelers bringing in Trai Turner for a free agent visit, and DeCastro possibly considering retirement, the Steelers put all those rumors to bed by releasing the All Pro guard.
This per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:
You might be wondering what happened to have the Steelers decide to release DeCastro, especially when he would be called upon to be the rock along the offensive line? According to Mike Garafolo DeCastro has been having issues with his ankle and is having it reevaluated.
DeCastro has been having his ankle evaluated recently, sources said. He’s had issues with it for quite some time. Had surgery on it before last season. He’s evaluating his future. https://t.co/pzokwBJ3CT— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 24, 2021
This proves DeCastro was indeed playing injured last season, but it also seems DeCastro is at a crossroad in his career. Continue to deal with the ankle injury, or call it a career.
This news will carry significant implications across both the roster and the salary cap. DeCastro was a candidate to possibly see a contract extension to lessen his cap hit in 2021; however, after his release it gives the Steelers financial flexibility, but hurts to offensive line. Although DeCastro will have a $5,547,500 dead money hit for 2021, he will carry an $8.75 million dollar savings. After roster displacement, the Steelers will have an additional $7,946,624 toward their salary cap at this time.
Needless to say, the team now has a gaping hole at right guard which will need to be filled. Will it be with a free agent, like Turner, or in house?
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.