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2018 South Side Questions: Whatcha Gonna Do With All That Nice Cap Space?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are in a critical portion of the offseason in which the preseason takes center stage, where some of the biggest and most important questions get answered, especially in terms of personnel.

How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: So um…what are the Steelers going to do with all that cap space they just cleared by restructuring Cameron Heyward’s contract?

Hey, Kevin Colbert, nice cap space you got there. It’d be a shame if something weren’t to happen with it.

According to Field Yates, the Steelers cleared roughly an additional $5.4 million in cap space for the 2018 season by restructuring the contract of Cameron Heyward, converting about $8.1 million of his base salary into a signing bonus.

With that move, the team has now restructured two contracts of presumed starters just before the start of the regular season, with Vance McDonald also receiving similar treatment. While the previous move with the tight end could be argued to be simply providing a buffer for in-season emergencies, clearing another $5 million-plus in cap space is not an insignificant move.

It is one that at least on the surface would seem to indicate the intention of making some sort of move in a short amount of time, and perhaps one that would be a bit costly—though not necessarily so.

The move doesn’t necessarily give the Steelers a ton of cap space. Remember, there is the practice squad, injured reserve, and the PUP List players to account for. That all adds up to more than you might think.

But one would assume that it does at least open up the possibility of the team making some kind of move, whether it is signing a free agent or perhaps working out some sort of extension. Mike Tomlin’s face seemed to indicate that they will be looking to at an outside linebacker. We should know what’s going on very soon.

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