There certainly was quite a few transactions around the NFL this past week that included taggings, tenderings, cuttings, restructurings and extensions, and that certainly was par for the course for this time of year. Outside of them waiving tackle Micah Hatchie, who spent all of last season on the Reserve/Injured list, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the quietest teams in the league the last few weeks. So, will the Steelers make a little noise next week? Probably, but don’t expect it to overly loud.
If you look back at last year, the Steelers released defensive end Brett Keisel and re-signed linebacker Arthur Moats and tight end Matt Spaeth on the Monday prior to the start of the 2015 league year. While I doubt we’ll see a cut this coming Monday, we could see a couple of re-signings take place, or by Tuesday at the latest.
As far as possible restricted tenders go, we’ll know by Tuesday night whether or not linebacker Terence Garvin was given one. Quite honestly, that could go either way. Personally, I would tender him at the lowest level.
So, why haven’t any restructures taken place yet? That’s a good question and the fact of the matter is that the Steelers may have done one or two at the end of this past week and the details just haven’t emerged. Remember, NFL teams are not obligated to release details of restructures. Last year, however, the Steelers restructured the contracts of tackle Marcus Gilbert, center Maurkice Pouncey and safety Mike Mitchell right after they got back from the combine in Indianapolis and the reports of those transactions surfaced exactly two weeks prior to the start of the new league year. This year’s top early restructure candidates are quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end Cameron Heyward. Additionally, the team can also clear some extra cap space by extending the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
Now, back to possible cuts. Just because I don’t think we’ll see any next week doesn’t mean that we won’t. While cornerback Cortez Allen would easily lead anyone’s list of players who could potentially be cut in the coming days, he can’t be released and dated as a post June 1 transaction until after the start of the new league year which is Wednesday evening. In other words, if Allen is still on the Steelers roster come next Saturday, you can probably bet he’ll be allowed to compete for a starting job in training camp.
By now, you should be prepared for the Steelers to be very quiet during the early portions of the free agent signing period and especially when it comes to Wednesday night. When they signed Mitchell two years ago, that happened during the first full day of free agency and as far as my memory goes, that was the earliest big splash they have ever made since general manager Kevin Colbert came on board in 2000.