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Aaron Smith is the next Steelers veteran to get cut

Pierre Garcon,  Aaron Smith,  LaMarr Woodley AP

Another day, another longtime Steelers veteran thrown off board.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that the Steelers will cut Aaron Smith. This move is even less surprising than the news about Hines Ward coming out on Wednesday.

Smith has only played 15 games in the last three seasons. He may be one of the most underrated players of his generation, but there was simply no way the Steelers could keep him at his current salary at 35 years old.

Unlike Ward, we wouldn’t be shocked if Smith returns to the team at a cheaper price if he still wants to play football and can prove he’s healthy in the summer.

If Smith doesn’t play again, he’ll go down as one of the best 3-4 defensive ends of the last decade.

UPDATE 4:43 p.m. ET: It looks like the Steelers are listening to Florio. He put cutting Smith on his “to do” list for PFT Live.

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35 Responses to “Aaron Smith is the next Steelers veteran to get cut”
  1. jmagnet28 says: Mar 1, 2012 4:48 PM

    How can a guy who’s played only 15 games in the last three years be considered underrated??

    Just more Steelers jock jumping.

  2. redguy12588 says: Mar 1, 2012 4:50 PM

    Another great player that got too old, 14 fantastic seasons, all as a Steeler. I don’t think they bring him back, they have 2 former first round picks waiting to start. Steelers keep getting younger and gaining salary cap room.

  3. ccoolahan14 says: Mar 1, 2012 4:58 PM

    Out with the old completely overrated players (Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Casey Hampton) in with the new batch of soon-to-be completely overrated players. It’s amazing how no one wants these guys when they go in, and no one wants them when they go out, but while they’re in Pittsburgh we have to hear about them non-stop. Just look at Ryan Clarke, the guy literally gets talked about more than Ed Reed. Why did he end up with the Steelers? Because he was cut by the REDSKINS. It’s impossible to play for that team and not be completely overrated.

  4. nightrain42 says: Mar 1, 2012 5:03 PM

    Kemo shld hve been the first cut. He has to b nxt!

  5. blacknole08 says: Mar 1, 2012 5:06 PM

    This move might’ve come a year too late. He hasn’t played that much in the last few years. Ziggy Hood and Keisel are an underrated tandem.

  6. rajbais says: Mar 1, 2012 5:09 PM

    I like Aaron Smith, but he should’ve been cut years ago.

    I hope he has a good retirement though.

  7. johntonioholmes says: Mar 1, 2012 5:10 PM

    Definitely one of my all-time favorite players.

    He anchored a legendarily solid run-defense for his entire career and made one pro-bowl.

    It’s kind of a shame that he played a position with no glory, because he really was a monster.

    Won’t even get consideration for the hall, even though he was probably the best 3-4 end of his generation.

  8. stiller9305 says: Mar 1, 2012 5:11 PM

    Don’t be surprised if you see him at camp in the summer, especially if he signs for the vet minimum. They are very thin on the D-Line and at that price if healthy he’d be worth it.

  9. mswravens says: Mar 1, 2012 5:11 PM

    Nothing but respect for this guy. Glad we know we won’t be facing him any longer!

  10. mdavid36 says: Mar 1, 2012 5:20 PM

    An absolute Steelers legend. As sad as it is to see these Hines and Aaron Smith go, the cap room the Steelers are clearing up bodes very well for the future.

  11. getyourownname says: Mar 1, 2012 5:25 PM

    You aren’t “gaining salary cap room” until you are under the cap – i.e., have room. Until then, you are still merely trying to get under where you have to be.

    And while you may be getting younger (which you won’t know for sure until you find out if he is being brought back at lower salary), that in itself is meaningless unless the younger players can play at the same level. That you won’t know until the season starts, but if the younger players on the roster haven’t been playing, that tells you how they currently compare to the guy you let go.

  12. 3yardsndust says: Mar 1, 2012 5:32 PM

    Thanks, Aaron! You were a great player and a great Steeler. All the best to you.

  13. steeelfann says: Mar 1, 2012 5:36 PM

    One word (per James Farrior): UNBLOCKABLE

    Smith in his prime was beastly. You could never run to the right and he constantly was on the qb. Just stoned the whole right side 24/7. One of the best draft choices by the Steelers in the last 15 years.

  14. myspaceyourface says: Mar 1, 2012 5:55 PM

    We will miss you Aaron. . . The reality is, he hasn’t played in the last 3 seasons.

  15. watters7 says: Mar 1, 2012 6:19 PM

    Give me a break. If you showed up for your job less than a 1/3 of the time would you be considered great?
    Also, the most over-rated player in the NFL is that fraud Palamalu. He freelances and make plays that 100 guys in the league could make if given no responsibility like that stiff. The next WR he covers will be his first.

  16. steelcurtains says: Mar 1, 2012 6:31 PM

    ccoolahan14 says:
    Mar 1, 2012 4:58 PM
    Out with the old completely overrated players (Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Casey Hampton) in with the new batch of soon-to-be completely overrated players. It’s amazing how no one wants these guys when they go in, and no one wants them when they go out, but while they’re in Pittsburgh we have to hear about them non-stop. Just look at Ryan Clarke, the guy literally gets talked about more than Ed Reed. Why did he end up with the Steelers? Because he was cut by the REDSKINS. It’s impossible to play for that team and not be completely overrated.
    ————————————————–
    Wow, to hear you tell it the whole team is overrated….but yet they had back-to-back 12-4 seasons and have went to 3 out of the last 6 Super Bowls and always have a Top 5 defense. How did they manage that with all these overrated players?? Please explain that one to me!!!

  17. agc99 says: Mar 1, 2012 6:32 PM

    Time to clean house. Keep the cuts coming. Kemo, Farrior, Hampton, Foote, Moore, Leftwich, Batch, Dixon, Scott will be a good start.

  18. sdiegosteel says: Mar 1, 2012 6:44 PM

    ccoolahan14 says:

    Just look at Ryan Clarke, the guy literally gets talked about more than Ed Reed. Why did he end up with the Steelers? Because he was cut by the REDSKINS.

    ================================

    We can’t all pay top dollar to get Adam Archuletta.

  19. kilo0986 says: Mar 1, 2012 6:53 PM

    Ccoolahan, you mustve just started watching football last year. If thats not the case, then youre just flat out f@!*#n stupid and dont belong in a reasonable football conversation. And ps, half of pitt didnt want ike back and no one has talked him up.

    But, this has been a sad day being a Pittsburgh fan. All these guys that contributed so much to the organization and helped get those rings.. I wish them best, this last decade has been great for Pittsburgh fans and heres for 10 more..
    Here we go steelers, Here we go

  20. steelhammer92 says: Mar 1, 2012 6:55 PM

    Look at all the haters.. LOL.. If these guys are all so overrated, why have the Steelers gone 3-1 in Super Bowls and made the playoffs year in, and year out, all since 2001? That’s better than every other team in the league, aside from New England.

  21. imopen7 says: Mar 1, 2012 7:03 PM

    @ notccoolahan: impossible to play for this team and not be over rated? More like impossible to play for this team and not see at least one ring. Football simpleton.

  22. slammincamnewton says: Mar 1, 2012 7:08 PM

    Enjoy your 6-10 season next year. The Browns finally gonna get you.

  23. stillers6 says: Mar 1, 2012 7:14 PM

    This guy was the unsung hero of this Steelers era. I think he’ll be remembered along the same lines as the great Andy Russell of the Steelers of the 70′s.

  24. johntonioholmes says: Mar 1, 2012 7:35 PM

    ccoolahan14

    Dude, clearly you don’t even watch football.

    Belichick called Aaron Smith one of the best he’s ever seen. He was injured a lot in the last three years, but he didn’t miss a start until 2007.

    Him, Harrison, and Hampton consistently anchor the best D in the NFL. #1 in the league 4 times since 2007. So please, tell me how overrated they are…

    And Clark does NOT get talked about more than Ed Reed.

    But you know what’s funny: Ryan Clark is the Steelers last line of defense. Ed Reed is the Ravens’ last line of defense.

    Guess which team always gives up fewer big plays?

    Hmm, maybe the Steelers have a better last line of defense.

  25. johntonioholmes says: Mar 1, 2012 7:41 PM

    watters7

    Dude that was over the last 3 years that he was injured, genius.

    Maybe you should actually WATCH the game.

    And Polamalu overrated? Give me a break. He had a bad season and he was only caught out of position twice.

    That was less than Ed Reed and Eric Weddle this year.

    Has never been a guy in the NFL with that skill set and there will never be. No one routinely jumps over the line and gets the QB before he could even turn around…NO ONE.

    31 teams would kill for a guy who could do that.

  26. johntonioholmes says: Mar 1, 2012 7:45 PM

    jmagnet28

    By your logic, Peyton Manning is a scrub because he missed the last 16 games.

    Could you please tell me what it is like to live with a brain that functions at such a low level?

  27. mikeypanic says: Mar 1, 2012 8:07 PM

    now this guy was an effin football player.

    get you some.

  28. draculalambert says: Mar 1, 2012 8:17 PM

    The Rooneys are like the mafia and it’s as if they’re whack’n their players. Get out the buttered popcorn, box of goobers and 9 dollar theater weiners!

    It’s on. *woot woot*

  29. pozone6031 says: Mar 1, 2012 8:33 PM

    Raven fans are just ignorant and seem to have a lot of trouble winning the big games. The Brown fan has just been frustrated for so many years he thinks he sees water in the desert. The Steelers are at last count 5 million under the cap. We will get younger and make another Super Bowl run. Here we go Steelers Here We Go!

  30. firdman7 says: Mar 1, 2012 8:45 PM

    I went to college with Aaron Smith at the University of Northern Colorado. I didn’t know him well, nor did I play football, but he was an extremely well-respected and humble person then. Though I am a die-hard Broncos fan, I have had always a tremendous amount of respect for his demeanor, professionalism and respect for the game. Good luck, Aaron. The league drastically needs more respectable guys like you to maintain the balance of all the knucklehead, prima donnas that whine and moan about contracts and money. You worked hard, showed up everyday and did your job. You earned your respect by your work on the field, not by running your mouth.

  31. tluke25 says: Mar 1, 2012 10:19 PM

    After reading all these posts, I realize how hard it is on people if they are not a Steeler fan. I had no idea the agony and frustration they go through. At some point, they need to realize its just a game. I’m not a Steeler fan, but I have been baffled reading posts about how Aaron Smith was never any good, and that Hines Ward should not be in the hall of fame. You can say Aaron Smith is no good, but over the past decade I’ve many sportscasters debate that he was the best 3-4 DE in the game. … The Hines Ward thing really has me baffled. Do people really believe this dude doesn’t belong in Canton? Only 2 receivers in NFL history have ever had 1,000 catches and multiple Super Bowl wins. Him and Jerry Rice. Him and Jerry Rice have also been Super Bowl MVPs. Let’s not forget that Ward did this on a run first offense. It wasn’t until the last few seasons that this team really slung the ball much.

    The Steelers had some really good players over the last decade. People need to calm down and not get so worked up over it. Whoever has been drafting these players knows what they are doing.

  32. Deb says: Mar 1, 2012 10:49 PM

    I doubt the Steelers are listening to anyone outside the organization … thank goodness. Aaron Smith may have been underrated by the league, but he’s always been appreciated by the team and Steelers fans. This isn’t an issue of throwing people overboard. Aaron is 35 and has played only 15 games in three years. Eventually every player has to retire. We love Aaron, and if it’s possible for him to remain with the team, they’ll make a place for him. If not, then it’s time to hang up the cleats and I wish him all good things in his future endeavors.

  33. flaccounibrow says: Mar 1, 2012 11:27 PM

    Best 5 technique in the league during his prime, and a class act to boot.

  34. ravensman says: Mar 1, 2012 11:52 PM

    pozone6031 says: Mar 1, 2012 8:33 PM

    Raven fans are just ignorant and seem to have a lot of trouble winning the big games

    Thanks for the compliment! Last time I checked, the Ravens players are the ones that won or lost games, not the fans.
    If being respectful and interested in the teams in our division makes me ignorant, then I’ll just have to plead guilty!
    Sheesh….one of the greats from your team gets released and all you talk about is your dislike for fans of an opposing team. Thankfully fans like you are a minority.

  35. woski767 says: Mar 2, 2012 10:37 AM

    @getyourownname
    If you actually did some research, you’d know that the cutting of Ward, Smith, and Kemo are giving the Steelers cap room. The organization was even w/ the projected cap number when they restructured Ben’s contract.

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