Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert certainly earned his paycheck on Wednesday.
The Steelers flurry of moves included re-signing safety Will Allen, signing both tight end Heath Miller and safety Troy Polamalu to contact extensions, and the releases of linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Curtis Brown and offensive tackle Levi Brown.
But after all of the cost-cutting moves, where do the Steelers stand?
They’re in a much better spot, but nowhere near where they need to be.
After all the moves, which also included having outside linebacker Jason Worilds sign his $9.754 million transition tag, the Steelers are barely in compliance with the salary cap, which will be at $133 million in 2014.
According to ESPN, the Steelers are a shade over $133 million in regard to the salary cap though that total doesn’t include Allen’s new deal since Pittsburgh has yet to make that official.
So while Wednesday was a very productive day for Colbert, he still has a ton of work to do if the Steelers plan to make any improvements via free agency. Cobert also must free up money in order to sign draft picks.
The good news is that Colbert cut a lot of money without having to make any tough cuts.
A contract extension for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would also help a great deal, but it oddly doesn’t appear that anything is currently in the works on that front.
However, while they are very close to being cap compliant, that is not really the case when you consider that at the bare minimum the Steelers need to sign a defensive end, wide receiver and running back. Whether or not the Steelers go outside the organization or look to re-sign one of their own free agents, they still have to create the necessary cap space to do so.
So while Colbert has certainly been a busy man, is work is nowhere near complete as free agency is set to begin on Tuesday, March 11.