Though Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch isn’t reporting (yet) that receiver Torry Holt and/or left tackle Orlando Pace will soon be former members of the team, Thomas makes a compelling case for the franchise to move on.
For starters, it’s the first year of a new regime.  So it makes sense to sever ties with aging players who won’t be part of the future.
Also, getting rid of Holt and Pace would double the team’s cap space, from $14 million to $28 million.  (Though Thomas sets forth the cap savings based on cutting or trading the players before June 1, the timing doesn’t matter in 2009, because it’s the last capped year.  Any cut or trade, before or after June 1, will result in the full remaining cap acceleration being taken this year.  Also, Holt is in the final year of his contract — so even if there were an extension to the CBA, his cap savings would be the same before or after June 1.)
Trading the aging veterans would be challenging, absent a renegotiation of their contracts.  Holt is due to earn $6.65 million in base salary this year, and Pace is due to pocket $5.975 million in 2009, $7.175 million in 2010, and $8.375 million in 2011.
So if they go, they’re most likely to be cut.  On the surface, it would be jarring news.
But it’s a fact of life in today’s NFL — especially for a bad team that needs to take dramatic steps in order to get better.

8 responses to “HOLT, PACE ON THE OUTS IN ST. LOUIS?

  1. You can get something for Pace (Pittsburgh could use him maybe?), but I doubt there will be any market for Holt. As much as I always felt Holt was an underated superstar WR, his best days are behind him now. they probably would not get a high enough draft pick anyway so my guess is he will be released

  2. Holt for a 3rd?
    I think Tennessee would take that in a heartbeat and go and win the SuperBowl next year. Although it doesnt look like Haynesworth will be back, still I think Holt to TEN makes too much sense.
    Of course Carolina could definitely make a run at him as well.

  3. It makes sense to move on from Holt and Pace. In all likelihood, with how the draft is breaking, they will likely go with an OT at number 2, with Eugene Monroe probably the favorite right now. Monroe’s ready physically and in pass pro. Run Blocking needs some work, but he’s solid there. He’s a good fit for Shurmur’s offense, and allows them to turn the page. Yes, they could draft Monroe and plug him in at, say, G or RT for a year, but why not turn the page and take the savings?
    Moving on from Holt makes a lot of sense, as they have two young WR’s that need PT (Avery and Burton), and Holt isn’t exactly the greatest fit for the WCO. Add in his dissatisfaction with being there, along with his contract, and it’s time to move on and let Spagnuolo start clean.
    Where could they go?
    Some guesses on Pace: Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Oakland, Green Bay (slide Clifton to RT?), Carolina (only if Gross leaves would it be an option)
    Holt could fit in a number of places. Some guesses:
    Indianapolis – If Marvin calls it quits, Wayne/Holt/Gonzalez?
    Baltimore – Not the lead WR they are looking for, but would be an upgrade.
    Tennessee – I don’t see this happening, though. I think Tennessee likes Brandon Jones and Justin Gage, and I don’t see them shelling out money for a veteran like Holt, but it would be an intriguing fit.
    Houston – Texans don’t need a WR badly, but add Holt to that mix, and Andre Johnson gets open more.
    Jacksonville – How many years have they been searching for a WR?
    San Francisco/Seattle – I’m sure Holt would love facing the Rams twice a year.
    Tampa Bay – Even with Bryant, they could use another WR.
    Carolina – they’ve been searching for another guy.
    Chicago – A team with a huge WR need, but they might prefer a more physical guy.
    New York Giants – Doubtful, but something to ponder if they feel Holt can still go deep.

  4. Are you guys crazy? Pittsburgh doesn’t like signing it’s own 30+ year old guys to contracts. There is 0% chance pace is playing with the Steelers next season. The Steelers sign about 2-5 guys in free agency that can make the team, and they are never guys you’ve REALLY heard of. Pace is too much of a big game (big money), too old, and too injured for the Steelers to consider him.

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