It was almost a certainty that the Pittsburgh Steelers would select a safety at some point during the 2018 NFL Draft and now that they have done so, one can clearly speculate that the days on the roster for safety J.J. Wilcox are likely numbered.
Wilcox, who the Steelers acquired via a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last September, is set to earn $3.125 million in 2018 and carry a salary cap charge of $3.8 million. Now that the Steelers have drafted former Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, it really doesn’t make sense to allow Wilcox to continue working out around the team facility for fear of him seriously injuring himself. In short, it shouldn’t come as a surprise should Wilcox wind up being released by Monday evening.
Let’s be clear, however, that the Thursday night addition of Edmunds via the draft isn’t the only safety the Steelers have added to their roster this offseason as veteran free agents Morgan Burnett and Nat Berhe were also signed as well. Additionally, safeties Jordan Dangerfield and Malik Golden were both signed back to the team way back in January and one has to think the Steelers will sign another an undrafted free agent safety or two to their roster by Monday as well.
The only way one can fathom Wilcox possibly remaining on the roster for much longer is if he were to agree to a significant cut in pay. He, however, might not agree to such and think that he can quickly find a home with another team should the Steelers release him.
Releasing Wilcox would result in a salary cap savings of $3.125 million prior to his displacement in the team’s top 51 salary list. Based on the current status of that list, the Steelers would save $2.57 million in salary cap space by cutting Wilcox.