Steelers Cap Room, RB Choices, Taylor and Polamalu
The NFL offseason is underway and as we prepare to evaluate combines, free agency, and the draft Steelers season never truly ends. We’ll be busy looking around for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Saturday, Feb. 28th.
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The Cap Room
If the 2015 NFL salary cap turns out to be the $143 million it is expected to be, per ESPN’s Scott Brown, then the Steelers are already in excellent shape to start the league year. With the two contract restructures done for Marcus Gilbert and Mike Mitchell, the Steelers should be a little more than $8 million under the cap when the league year begins on March 10th. That’s if they don’t do any further restructures.
Assuming the Steelers are still in contract negotiations with Ben Roethlisberger, that amount could go down even further as his current cap hit for 2015 is $18.25 million and an extension/restructure would include signing bonuses that will decrease his hit for the year. Center Maurkice Pouncey is another candidate for a contract restructure.
Who wants a veteran running back?
As Craig pointed out earlier this week, the free agent market is stocked up with veteran running backs thanks to cuts made around the league this week. Craig suggested out of the potential pool of running backs to back up Le’Veon Bell including Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, DeAngelo Williams, Ray Rice and Peyton Hillis, Bush might be the only one slightly favorable as a candidate for the Steelers.
Ed Bouchette of the PPG agrees. Bush is a back who can gain yards on the ground and catch passes as well, similar to Bell, but his age and injury history might not make him the most reliable backup. He also had a steep decline in 2014, running for only 297 yards on 76 carries in 11 games played. Bouchette and Craig both agree that the better course of action might very well be to draft a back and throw him in the mix with Josh Harris and what’s his name.
Ike and Troy ready for 2015
Ike Taylor called in to 93.7 The Fan afternoon show this week and talked about his future in the league and with the Steelers. He explained that he feels like he’s still got football left in him to play, but realizes he may have played his last game with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"“I’m always ready to play football. As far as coming back, yes, if anybody wants me, I’m willing to come back.” – Ike Taylor"
When asked if he thinks he played his final game for the Steelers, he said the thinks so.
"“I think I am. I don’t want to be; I think it’s just parting ways. I’m not going to feel a mutual agreement because I’m always wanting to be a part of the Steelers, but just looking at the business side of it, I think it’s pretty much a wrap.” – Ike Taylor"
Taylor also spoke about fellow veteran Troy Polamalu and added that Troy is in training for the upcoming season, hoping to be playing in Pittsburgh. He also mentioned that he could see players such as himself, Polamalu, James Harrison and Brett Keisel joining Dick LeBeau in Tennessee if the Steelers released/didn’t sign them and the Titans came calling.
"“That’s how much Dicky (Dick LeBeau) means to a lot of these guys on this football team. It’s bigger than football, its family.” – Ike Taylor"
Next: Steelers Draft: Finding Middle-Round Talent
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