The Pittsburgh Steelers have written enough big checks to put themselves into salary-cap hell. It's now time to find a way to cover all those bad checks.
This means the Steelers might have to free themselves somehow from some of the bloated contracts that are keeping this team from adding the young talent needed to be competitive.
There are really five main culprits causing the salary-cap issues: cornerback Ike Taylor, safety Troy Polamalu, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, tight end Heath Miller and defensive tackle Steve McLendon.
According to OvertheCap.com, the combined cap hit of these five players for 2014 is right around $49 million. With a potential 2014 salary-cap number of $126 million, these salaries are too much for Pittsburgh to continue to pay them and become competitive again.
So, the focus of this article will be finding replacements via free agency or the draft who might not be quite as talented but would come at a hefty savings. This list is comprised of lower-tiered free agents and Day 2 and 3 sleeper draft picks.