The Pittsburgh Steelers’ week of activity rolled on, as they announced the immediate release of linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive lineman Levi Brown on Wednesday afternoon.
With the trio of moves, the Steelers drop about $8 million from their payroll, which gets them under the NFL salary cap in time for next Tuesday’s deadline.
While the two Browns didn’t do much in Steelers jerseys, it’s a bittersweet moment to see Foote go. The staunch run-stopper was drafted by Pittsburgh in 2002 and went on to wear black and gold until 2009, when he signed with his hometown Detroit Lions. Foote, a University of Michigan product, returned to the Steelers in 2010.
The 33-year-old hasn’t decided on retirement, although if he called it quits it would cap one heck of a career. Foote started 114 of 174 total games, regular season and playoffs, during his Pittsburgh tenure. He ruptured his biceps in the 2013 season opener, costing the Steelers a veteran presence for the rest of the year.
Foote has accumulated 481 tackles and 23 sacks in 12 NFL seasons. He has excelled as an inside linebacker in the Steelers’ 3-4 defensive scheme, which allowed him to plug holes and otherwise work mostly behind the scenes.
Also Wednesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert took steps toward solidifying next year’s team by extending Heath Miller and Troy Polamalu for the next two years. NFL free agency starts in six days.