PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — The Fan Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette says Ben Roethlisberger and Lawrence Timmons will restructure their contracts as they must get under the NFL salary cap by March 12.
“It takes cap room for the future and uses it now,” Bouchette said. “You’re saving cap room this year and losing it beyond.”
Bouchette said there has been a change in the NFL.
“Before this new CBA, every year the cap (number) jumped,” he said. “That hasn’t happened, it’s stayed pretty steady and it is expected to stay steady next year as well. Sooner or later the chickens come home to roost.”
Bouchette also talked to James Harrison’s agent Bill Parise about the veteran linebacker’s future with the Steelers.
“Bill told me, they didn’t discuss reducing salary or restructuring,” he said. “He’s 6.57 against the salary cap for this year. He’s going to be 35. They almost have to ask him to take less.”
Woodland Hills graduate Steve Breaston is expected to talk with the team toward the end of the week.
“They don’t have a lot of depth at wide receiver,” Bouchette said. “If they can get Steve Breaston for a reasonable number, they will sign him. However some other club may be able to give Breaston more money.”
Bouchette said the Steelers’ main draft needs are running back, outside linebacker and safety.
“I think running back is your top priority,” he said. “Most of the money has been invested in the defense, except for Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. With this offense, you better get a running back.”
While Bouchette doesn’t expect a number of current players to be outright released, he believes the following free agents will leave — Max Starks, Mike Wallace, Rashard Mendenhall, Keenan Lewis and Ramon Foster.