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Steelers LB Malik Reed agrees to re-work his contract after bring traded to help with cap space

The Pittsburgh Steelers newly signed outside linebacker has re-worked his contract to help the organization with salary cap space.

NFL: OCT 10 Broncos at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t about to sit on their hands and wait when teams had to trim their rosters from 80 players to 53 this Tuesday. Instead, they were proactive in finding players they felt could help add both depth and value at key positions.

One of those positions was outside linebacker, and the Steelers traded a 6th round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos to receive Malik Reed and a 7th round pick in the upcoming draft.

At the time, little was known of the financial aspect of the addition of Reed, but it is now being reported by Field Yates of ESPN Reed re-worked his contract with the Steelers, bringing his base value down from $2.433 million to $1.5 million.

In his three seasons with the Denver Broncos, Reed made a total of $2,035,000 according to With a $15k signing bonus as an undrafted rookie in 2019, Reed has been playing for the league minimum each season based on his years of experience. In 2019 Reed had a base salary of $495k and 2020 his salary was $675k. Coming off a season in 2021 where Reid made $850k for the year, he still is receiving quite a bump in pay for 2022. Reed was initially signed this offseason to a right-of-first-refusal tender as a restricted free agent for the 2022 season with the Broncos.

The Steelers continued to tweak their outside linebacker depth Thursday when they decided to sign Jamir Jones and release Derrek Tuszka. It now leaves the Steelers with the following outside linebacker depth chart heading into the 2022 regular season:

  • T.J. Watt
  • Alex Highsmith
  • Malik Reed
  • Jamir Jones

This is a situation where many fans are more at ease with the team’s depth behind the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but others were hoping for more proven depth at a very key position in the Steelers defense. Either way, Reed re-doing his contract helps the Steelers in terms of their 2022 salary cap number, something which is right in General Manager (GM) Omar Khan’s wheel house.

Are the Steelers done adding to their roster? They still have five spots to fill on their 16-player practice squad, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 of the regular season.