It will certainly be interesting to see what transpires during the offseason with Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green due to him missing most of the 2016 season and both playoff games due to an in-season concussion.
During his annual end-of-the-season question and answer session with the Pittsburgh media on Tuesday, team president Art Rooney II was asked about the future status of Green, who signed a four-year, $20 million contract with the Steelers last March.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney said Tuesday that Green has some “physical conditions” the team needs to evaluate moving forward into the offseason. Dulac also indicated that Rooney was non-committal about Green’s future with the team.
Rooney being non-committal on Green’s future so close the season ending isn’t a big surprise at all. With that said, I will be surprised if any sort of transaction with Green takes place before the 2017 NFL Draft as there’s really nothing to be gained by doing so.
The Steelers will likely use the next several months to evaluate Green to see if he’s a big risk for future concussions. They could ultimately decide to spend a draft pick on another tight end and if that happens, it will be a sign that Green’s days in Pittsburgh might be numbered.
Green is set to earn a $5 million base salary in 2017 and count $6,187,500 against the Steelers salary cap. Should the Steelers decide to ultimately to part ways with Green before June 1, they will save $2.625 million in salary cap space in 2017 as there will be $3.5625 million in dead money to account for. Should, however, Green be designated for release or released after June 1, the Steelers would save $5 million in 2017 salary cap space. Such a move, however, would result in a dead money charge of $2.375 million in 2018.
Green played in just 6 games for the Steelers in 2016 to the tune of 140 offensive snaps. He ended the season with 18 catches for 304 yards and a touchdown. Green suffered his latest concussion in the Steelers Week 15 game against the Cincinnati Bengals and it ultimately ended his first season in Pittsburgh.