If the Steelers wanted to simply kick the salary-cap can down the road with linebacker James Harrison, they could do what they have done with multiple other players over the past two years.
They could convert most of Harrison’s $6.57 million compensation to a signing bonus, reduce his base salary to the league minimum, and spread the cap hit over multiple years, possibly with an extension that would give the Steelers more years over which to spread the cap hit.
But here’s the problem. The Steelers apparently don’t want to pay Harrison $6.57 million this year, in any form. They want to pay less, and the question is how much less would he take?
Then there’s the fact that the Steelers are creating future cap problems for themselves by pushing 2012 cap dollars into upcoming years. At some point, it has to stop because, at some point, the Steelers are going to have to absorb the cap dollars that they keep finding a way to defer.