Pittsburgh Steelers guard Willie Colon is a well talked about player this offseason. The starting left guard unfortunately ended the 2012 season on injured reserve after injuring his knee. That made three straight seasons that Colon has lost time due to injury and his time in Pittsburgh could very well come to an end as a result.
Colon continues to rehab his injured knee right now and teammate Ramon Foster, who is also currently in limbo as a an unrestricted free agent, reached out to his fellow linemate on Thursday to see how he is doing.
“Just grinding my good brother, and waiting on the word,” Colon tweeted back.
Waiting is all Colon can do at this point, but we don\’t know what he specifically he is waiting for. If Colon is meaning that he is waiting to hear from the Steelers concerning his 2013 fate, he should know whether or not he gets by his first hurdle in a matter of weeks as the Steelers need to be cap compliant by March 12, the start of the new league year. Colon is currently scheduled to earn a base salary of $5.5 million in 2012. Cutting him early only saves $1.2 million of salary cap space. Less when you consider in the displacement of another player that would potentially take his place in the Rule of 51.
Cutting Colon with a June 2nd designation would mean that the Steelers would eventually save $5.5 million in cap space, but those savings would not be seen until after June 1st per the CBA rules. That designation would also create a dead money charge of $4.3 million in 2014.
Colon of course could be waiting to hear from his doctors as well. Perhaps he is waiting to get the green light to start the next portion of his rehab. We can only speculate.
If Colon is paying attention to the internet during his wait he probably saw that the Steelers met with North Carolina left guard Jonathan Cooper at the NFL combine recently. Cooper is regarded as one of the top two guards in the draft that could potentially be drafted in the first round. Cooper also fits the zone blocking system, which the Steelers are expected to run more of next season.
Players can\’t sit and worry about things that they can\’t control. The NFL is a business with players coming and going every year.
General manager Kevin Colbert is currently in Indianapolis at the combine and he wouldn\’t comment specifically this week on the business side of things with the Steelers. The next two weeks will certainly be interesting, and much like Colon, all we can do is wait.