Out With The Old, In With The Current?

Superbowl Sunday (45 of 50)The Pittsburgh Steelers are trying desperately to create some cap space in order to not only hold on to some important pieces, but also create room for the draft coming up in a few weeks.

Though, I must admit, this resembles a spring cleaning of sorts.  Most of the Steelers veteran players and captains are being let go, retiring or both.

First it was Chris Hoke, whom was a vital backup for this defensive line.  Hoke retired after an injury that after 12 years in the league was going to be too much to return from.

That was followed by the Steelers letting Hines Ward go. This was considerably more difficult for the local fans to handle because of the history behind him, not to mention this was one of the players that started playing at Three Rivers Stadium.  Hines was a fan favorite but he did not want to retire and from the rumors that are being tossed about and some being reported, there is a chance he has some suitors.

Now it is James Farrior, Aaron Smith, and lastly Chris Kemoeatu who are released.   No surprise with Aaron Smith, he has missed the last couple of seasons with season long injuries.

James Farrior though was the undisputed leader of this football team.  He quite frankly could have been the greatest free agent pickup in Steelers History.  The Steelers picked him up from the Jets in 04′, when they cast him aside basically saying that he was done.  Just another mistake from a Jets franchise that has not won a championship in a very long time.

Chris Kemoeatu is a player that most Pittsburgh fans would probably drive to the airport to get off of this team.    He was a below average offensive lineman, and one that when he did get playing time, could not play more than a few plays in a row without getting called for holding.

The moves are not over yet, and that can almost be guaranteed.   There are several players that are injured that are coming up to the last year on their contract, or in Casey Hampton’s case, towards the end of a career.   Casey is a guy as mentioned, towards the end of his career recovering from a tough injury.  Especially for someone that pushes 400 lbs on his leanest of days.

Even with all of these moves and even pending moves, no real guarantees this team can hang on to some key players, one of which is Mike Wallace.   They were able to tender an offer to Wallace, but they did not put the tag on him meaning any other team could step up and offer this guy huge money and take him away from Pittsburgh.   The Patriots are a deep threat away from being just a ridiculous offense.  Wallace could be just the piece they have been looking for.

The fact that the Steelers did not tag Wallace tells you that they are not completely committed to him, regardless what is being said from the front office.  Look for more moves and rumors to be tossed about as the draft inches closer.

Creative Commons License photo credit: seantoyer

 

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