5 roster moves that could instantly save the Steelers $45 million

Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers are cap-strapped heading into the 2021 offseason, but here are five roster moves that could instantly save them $45 million in cap space.

The Steelers are already going to have at least three new assistant coaches this year, but the changes are far from over. After a thoroughly disappointing end to their 2020 campaign that included an offense that scored just 19.6 points per game over the final six contests of the season, offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner, would not return for another year. In his stead, Pittsburgh promoted quarterback coach Matt Canada.

While there could still be several more changes to their coaching staff, there are even more moves that need to be made on their roster – and they will have to be made quickly. According to Over the Cap, the Steelers are currently $21 million in the hole to start the 2021 offseason, and they have just two months to clear up cap space before the free agency period.

Though restructuring contracts is typically an option, flat-out cutting players is going to be the way to go for Pittsburgh this year. Here are five roster moves the team could make to instantly save them $45 million in 2021:

Cut Vance McDonald

This one certainly seems like a no-brainer this offseason, and I would be floored if Vance McDonald didn’t get the boot. Over the past two years, McDonald has graded out as one of the bottom tight ends in the National Football League, according to Pro Football Focus, and his paycheck in 2021 will not be warranted.

McDonald is set to be the 10th-highest-paid player on the team in 2021 with a cap hit of nearly $8 million, and Pittsburgh could instantly save $5.2 million by releasing him. For a player who chipped in just 15 catches for 99 yards in 14 games this year, cutting McDonald is an easy decision to clear up some cap space.