November 18, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers guard Willie Colon (74) and tackle Max Starks (78) block at the line of scrimmage against Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Baltimore Ravens won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Willie Colon reportedly to be retained by Steelers

It was widely expected that offensive lineman Willie Colon would become one of the Pittsburgh Steelers cap casualties before the Tuesday 4 p.m. free-agency deadline, but that doesn’t appear to be the case any longer.

August 12, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Willie Colon (74) during the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Colon’s agent, Joe Linta, told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Steelers’ front office said they aren’t planning to do anything with the veteran’s contract and have not requested a pay cut.

Colon, 29, has battled injuries in the past and is set to earn $5.5 million next season as part of the five-year, $29 million contract he signed in 2011.

The common opinion was that Colon would be cut as Pittsburgh sought to overhaul its offensive front with more athletic and durable linemen. Colon has started only 13 games over the past two years and wound up on injured reserve for the third straight season in 2012.

But when he was healthy last season, he played his best football and for a stretch was the Steelers best offensive lineman. That was before he got hurt once again.

The Steelers have been trying to fix their line for years and now have young talent in David DeCastro, Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, Marcus Gilbert and Maurkice Pouncey.

Colon is versatile so he has value and while he appears to be safe for now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Steelers come calling about him taking a pay cut sometime before the season starts.

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