Pittsburgh Steelers cut ties with 4 players, more moves to follow

Mark Barron #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Mark Barron #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers moved on from four veteran players on Monday. Here’s why there will be plenty more moves to follow this offseason.

If you have already been following along with all of the offseason drama in the NFL on Monday, then you already know about everything that’s been going on to start the week in Pittsburgh. The Steelers said goodbye to four players – some who have been around for just a year while others have played in Pittsburgh their whole careers.

Among the players cut were linebacker Mark Barron, edge defender Anthony Chickillo, and wide receiver and special teams standout Johnny Holton. In addition, Ramon Foster officially announced his retirement from the team (something that may or may not have been a mutual agreement to part ways).

On top of these moves, the Steelers officially placed the franchise tag on edge defender, Bud Dupree. The fifth-year player is coming off the best season of his career, and the tag from the Steelers will cost them $15.89 million in 2020.

While Dupree’s franchise tag, Foster’s retirement, and the three cuts don’t come as a surprise to fans who have been following along closely, it’s worth noting that the Steelers are far from done making moves.

Just hours after these moves took place, ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Chaplan announced that the Steelers were restructuring Vance McDonald’s contract to free up additional space in 2020:

This move gives the Steelers the money they need to finally absorb all of Dupree’s $15.89 million cap hit in 2020. But McDonald’s restructuring isn’t nearly the final move for Pittsburgh.

Though Dupree was a top priority in 2020, the Steelers now have holes at starting left guard and nose tackle among a handful of backup positions. However, with just pocket change to spare, they don’t have the cap space to tender B.J. Finney or Mike Hilton. If they are to keep either of these players around in 2020, more cap space will need to be created.

Pittsburgh could elect to cut ties with a few other players or attempt to push more Ben Roethlisberger’s money back into 2021. Either way, they certainly can’t go into next season without backups at several positions.

Next. What a Steelers contract extension for Bud Dupree could look like. dark

The Steelers have an intelligent front office, and they will find a way to make things work out for next season, as they always do. For now, just know that the half-dozen moves we have seen from Pittsburgh is hardly the end this offseason. Expect more to follow soon.