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The Steelers started off by releasing Bryant McFadden ($2.5 million) and Arnaz Battle ($1.1 million) to start the wave of releases.
(OK, they did this before some of the restructuring, but it works out with less slides for you to read this way)
Then came the tough decisions. Hines Ward ($4 million), Aaron Smith ($2.1 million), Chris Kemoeatu ($3.5 million) and most recently James Farrior ($2.85 million) have all been released.
This means that, adding those totals up, the Steelers have reduced their salary cap number by $39.6 million dollars.
If they were over the cap by $25 million when this all started, these cuts would put them $14 million UNDER the salary cap.
And what did the Steelers lose in these deductions?
Bryant McFadden - 5th CB at best.
Arnaz Battle - 4th WR at best.
Hines Ward - Yes, a leader, he would still have been the 4th WR at best. The Steelers could still bring Ward back for league minimum and he would only count around $500K against the salary cap.
Aaron Smith - Former leader, has been placed on IR in four of the last five seasons.
Chris Kemoeatu - About 20 yards in penalties per game.
James Farrior - A liability against the pass.