The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a bit of a salary cap bind for the 2014 season.
It's not the salary cap hell that some teams endure. Going into the offseason, the Steelers are $9.7 million over the cap, with a shortage of eight players to satisfy roster requirements.
Projecting those eight to be signed for very meager contracts, a best-case scenario, still leaves the Steelers hovering around $11.85 million over the cap to start the offseason.
What is typically the norm for the Steelers' front office is to nickel and dime their way to just enough cap space to sign rookies and the occasional value-minded free agent. Hardly the most exciting of strategies, but it has yielded some success.
This year, however, the Steelers have the possibility to clear the books of some big, bloated contracts being paid to players who might not deserve them. The purge is never easy, and it is rarely clean. However, just remember the quote from the movie of the same name:
"Just remember all the good the purge does."
However, who is to be offered up for the purge? There are six players whose combination of salary, age and lack of production makes them viable candidates. Here's a look at the six potential candidates for some deep salary cap savings.
These aren't simply the six highest payed players on the roster—players like quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown are at or near the top. The point is, in order to keep players like this, cuts must be made elsewhere.
There are two fundamental points to remember.
First, this is not an endorsement to cut ALL of these players. This is a breakdown of six players who could be cut and the savings they'd create. The fact is, players like cornerback Cortez Allen and defensive end Cameron Heyward are approaching free agency. Holding onto aging veterans at the expense of the talented youth on this roster is not a prudent move.
The other issue is all of these players, save for offensive tackle Levi Brown and safety Troy Polamalu, could be prime candidates for contract re-structures to save cap space and keep them on the roster. The problem with that is in many cases, you are simply robbing Peter to pay Paul. In the end that money is going to come due.
All salary cap figures courtesy of overthecap.com.
Unless specified, all stats are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.