The Pittsburgh Steelers freed up some cap space over the weekend with the release of linebacker James Harrison and have already started putting some of that to use.
The Steelers and guard Ramon Foster have agreed to a three-year deal, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
It’s unknown exactly what Foster’s role on the 2013 team will be, but at the minimum he will be an experienced backup who can play both guard and tackle.
The Steelers didn’t have a lot of space with which to play under the salary cap this offseason -only $3.4 million under the cap as of Monday- so it was somewhat intriguing that they elected to re-sign Foster.
But that may make more sense and Foster’s role could become more defined if they decide to release offensive lineman Willie Colon.
Despite Colon’s agent claiming last week that his client would be back with the team next season, it appears that the writing is on the wall for the often injured veteran. However it is likely the Steelers will wait until June 1 to release Colon if that is the route they choose. By cutting him now they would save $1.2 million, but they would save $5.5 million if they release him any time after June 1.
However putting that money to use will be difficult as most free agents could be signed by then.
Foster has been probably the Steelers most consistent lineman over the course of the past two seasons and definitely their most durable, considering the rash of injuries the unit has seen.
The former undrafted rookie in 2009 started all 16 games last year (13 at right guard when David DeCastro was hurt and three at left guard when Colon was injured).
If Colon is out of the picture this season, there is a good chance that the 27-year old Foster competes for the starting job at left guard with Kelvin Beachum, who the Steelers are expected to move from tackle to guard this season.