Cameron Heyward, DL
The first contract the team could restructure is that of former three-time First-Team All-Pro defensive lineman, Cameron Heyward. As great as he has been in the past, the Steelers cannot enter the 2024 season with his contract as is.
Back in 2020, the Pittsburgh Steelers handed Heyward a four-year, $65.6 million extension. This is an average annual earnings of $16.4 million per season (which is very reasonable for a player of his caliber). However, because of the way that his contract was backloaded, Pittsburgh has some extremely small cap numbers in his first two seasons, followed by some much larger numbers in the final years of his deal.
In 2024, Heyward is set to have a cap number of over $22.4 million. This is second to only T.J. Watt on the team, and it's a number that's too high for the performance that we are now getting from him on the field. Heyward turns 35 years old this offseason after missing roughly half the year with a groin injury in 2023. Some have even toyed with the idea of cutting the former star player, as Pittsburgh would instantly save $16 million in salary cap space.
We know this isn't going to happen, and the Steelers want to reward Heyward for his service. Because he's entering the final year of his deal, Pittsburgh can't really restructure his contract without some sort of minor extension. This could come in the form of tacking on a few voidable years to kick some of his cap number down the road and lower his cap hit for the 2024 season.