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Heath Miller restructuring highlights Pittsburgh’s salary-cap mess

Cincinnati Bengals  v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

It’s bad enough that the Steelers currently seem to be as bad as they’ve been in more than two decades.  On top of the issues with football talent, the Steelers don’t have the cap space to make fixes on the fly.

As they try to change a flat tire of a moving car, the Steelers have had to also pour more gas in the tank.  Of a moving car.

In the wake of a Week One injury debacle, tight end Heath Miller agreed to a restructured contract, as reported by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Per a league source, the deal gives the Steelers an extra $1.5 million in cap space, reducing Miller’s 2013 cap number from $7.96 million to $6.46 million.

The Steelers accomplished the move by paying him $3 million of his 2013 base salary now, as a signing bonus.  That pushes half of the guaranteed payment into 2014.

Which means that, come 2014, the Steelers will have an even bigger cap mess.  Miller’s cap number for the next league year has gone up by $1.5 million, pushing it to $9.46 million.

It’s one of many contracts bloated by restructurings that the Steelers will have to deal with in the offseason, when the car finally stops rolling and they decide how many more pieces they’ll need to replace.

But the move became necessary given the Week One season-ending injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Larry Foote, and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling.  The Steelers desperately needed the cap space to sign replacements.

Eventually, they’ll have to start getting rid of recognizable names.  Based on how this season could go, Steelers fans probably won’t be all that upset about it.

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59 Responses to “Heath Miller restructuring highlights Pittsburgh’s salary-cap mess”
  1. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 14, 2013 7:10 AM

    “Which means that, come 2014, the Steelers will have an even bigger cap mess.”

    Can’t wait to hear Nofool and his little toady Steelcrtainn spin their way out of this one. Hahahahaha!

  2. godofwine330 says: Sep 14, 2013 7:27 AM

    From every Browns fan, “Take THAT Jive Turkeys” (Turkey Jones that is – oh yeah. I’m bringing the phrase back)

    The Steelers had a good run, and they have always known when to let go of a player before the decline and stay out of salary cap hell, but alas, time to pay the piper has now come and the robbing Peter to pay Paul will end in having to both next year at the same time.

    Coach Tomlin, who I like as a coach, will likely get the blame for the lack of a decent record, which is due to the GM putting together a lackluster squad. Hopefully they continue to have him as coach as they pull through these difficult times. But as a Browns fan, I can’t be anything but happy to see a Steeler failure, and when those jive turkeys get a taste of basement life in the AFC North it’ll be great.

  3. Stiller43 says: Sep 14, 2013 7:30 AM

    Heath has 1 yr remaining (2014), he’ll sign an extension and the cap #’s can even out for him.

  4. rockthered1286 says: Sep 14, 2013 7:30 AM

    Which of the following excuses will Steeler trolls use:
    A. “Well… The cap number will rise in the next year so we’ll be fine.”
    B. “Our rookies are so great and we draft great so no big deal.”
    C. “Nu-uh you lying sack of crap.”
    D. “Look at my rings from eons ago and although it has nothing to do with the 2013 team that looks like a hot mess, I’ll pretend it matters!”

    Pick your poison.

  5. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 7:35 AM

    Joemontanaflacco | Sep 14, 2013, 7:10 AM EDT
    “Which means that, come 2014, the Steelers will have an even bigger cap mess.”

    Can’t wait to hear Nofool and his little toady Steelcrtainn spin their way out of this one. Hahahahaha!

    Hey UFT glad to see you are the first troll on the thread. Puff your chest out little fella you were the first to post. I leave the spinning around the bowl to hypocrites and cowards such as you. I know the steelers are in trouble and will be for a while. Glad it makes you happy UFT.

  6. fazzle1 says: Sep 14, 2013 7:43 AM

    Eh, it just means that Heath Miller won’t be a Steeler next year. I’m pretty sure he knew that the second he signed the new deal.

  7. h3min1230 says: Sep 14, 2013 7:44 AM

    Sad really.

    notttt lol.

  8. dsturnerjr says: Sep 14, 2013 7:44 AM

    Love how the Steelers have been in a salary cap “mess” for about 15 years now. 3 Super Bowls and 2 wins later, it keeps being said. 7 losing seasons in 40 years….and they didn’t even give up 7 td passes last week. Joemontanaflacco should worry about his own mess of a team…Ed Reed and Ray Murda ain’t walkin thru the door anytime soon.

  9. 6ball says: Sep 14, 2013 7:44 AM

    .

    For several years the Steelers drafts have been less than stellar. You need productive rookies to replace some of the higher salaried veterans. This has not been happening and now the Steelers find themselves in a deep hole.

    .

  10. blackngold4life says: Sep 14, 2013 7:47 AM

    Nothin New..we don’t care about Cap SPACE..Free Agency or Trades..it not like we don’t need a couple of Pro Bowl O-Line men next year

  11. ravensbob says: Sep 14, 2013 7:49 AM

    But they can always live in the past with their 6 rings. Put on Donna summers records and bell bottoms and think about the glory days.

  12. whojustme says: Sep 14, 2013 7:50 AM

    I think the Steelers should have fixed some cap problems this year. It would have been looked bad on the field but all teams have to do it. They are a good team and would have bounced back next year. The Ravens just did it. They let a good CB, LB, and pass rusher, go. All because they needed the money down the road. Too bad all those good moves are over shadowed by the Boldin humiliation. Waiting always works better than acting out of desperation. Like letting Krugger go and then signing Elvis for less. The Steelers are better than this and should be making smart moves. I do not like them but respect them as a team and front office.

  13. mborz says: Sep 14, 2013 8:11 AM

    This is something I’ve been worried about for a while and they just keep doing it, although this time it doesn’t sound like they had much of a choice.

    I probably don’t understand this very well, but maybe folks can straighten me out. I assume some of the money they’ve been pushing into future years is guaranteed to the players. Is there a way to compare the teams and know how much “debt” they’ve each accumulated? Not only to see how it stacks up against other teams, but also to see how big the number is compared to the amount available (or projected to be available) to work with?

  14. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 8:17 AM

    Hey UFT spinning is your game as you are the master of deceit and lies. I would be a liar like you if I didn’t know the steelers have cap issues,but they will field a team like you have many lies next year as well. Glad to see curtain and I are getting to you…remover the last time ..you had to change your name again

  15. jharmon64 says: Sep 14, 2013 8:31 AM

    As an avid Steelers fan, this has been a big concern for a few years now.

    I don’t see how Pitt can overcome this mess they have created.

    It’s going to be about 4 or 5 years til this clears up.

    As rookie contracts expire it’s just going to pile on to the problem.

  16. footballfan says: Sep 14, 2013 8:34 AM

    Every team seems to go through a “house cleaning”. I guess it’s about time for Pittsburgh. Still makes me wonder how teams can sign players to the big contracts like they do knowing that in several years that the big issues will be coming. That’s why so many great players end their careers like Brian Urlacher did this season.

  17. joerevs300 says: Sep 14, 2013 8:47 AM

    As much as I hate saying this, the Steelers are going to have to face reality, realize they are too old in a lot of key positions, and simply let these guys walk.

    Otherwise, we’re heading for a salary cap train wreck like the Raiders are in this season.

    Yes, it’s going to mean (probably) 3 consecutive seasons (like last year and what inevitably feels like one this year) of missing the playoffs and winning 8 years or less.

    But we MUST get younger and more cap efficient. Having a ton of age issues + injuries + no salary cap flexibility=big trouble in today’s NFL.

  18. officialgame says: Sep 14, 2013 8:48 AM

    When the Pirates are good the Steelers are bad. It’s just the way it is. Have fun in purgatory Steeler fans it’s going to last awhile.

  19. fc187 says: Sep 14, 2013 9:02 AM

    With the first pick in the 2014 draft the Steelers select (Place name here).

  20. gpclaw says: Sep 14, 2013 9:04 AM

    “Eventually, they’ll have to start getting rid of recognizable names.”

    Many of the recognizable names have contracts that expire at the end of the 2013 or 2014 season. 2014 should be the last year of salary cap hell for the Steelers.

  21. getyourownname says: Sep 14, 2013 9:16 AM

    Ravens fans should wait a bit before laughing at the Steeler grave.

    But in unrelated media news, Skip Bayless has modified his Steeler season record prediction to 15-1. Merrill Hoge is still hanging onto his 16-0 prediction pending review of his appeal to the League to modify results of the Titans game due to extreme brain injury suffered by reading the score.

  22. hakunamangata says: Sep 14, 2013 9:30 AM

    Where are the Steeler fans who claim Joe Flacco’s contract is killing the Ravens cap again?

  23. blindmansaidwhat says: Sep 14, 2013 9:44 AM

    So after just one game Florio has determined that the Steelers are a talentless team and in cap hell? The only weakness on that team is the youth of the Oline and that will improve the more they play together. As far as the salary cap, Roethlisberger’s contract is due to be renewed next year and some big money vets will be gone with young and less costly replacements waiting in the wings there to take their place.

    People keep waiting and hoping for the Steelers to fall apart but it won’t happen because of a solid front office and system. With a franchise QB just entering his prime and what still is a solid defense the Steelers always have a shot.

  24. rottenbellybutton says: Sep 14, 2013 9:48 AM

    I almost feel bad for this sorry team.

  25. itsfootballbaby says: Sep 14, 2013 9:51 AM

    What? Nothin’ out of Crownofthehelmet? I’m listening…….can’t hear yooooooou.

  26. bunkmcnulty says: Sep 14, 2013 9:53 AM

    Thought Colbert and the Steelers were smart enough to know you love the jersey and not who’s in it. Doesn’t always make you popular with your fan base, but it keeps you out of cap hell.

  27. z06vision says: Sep 14, 2013 10:18 AM

    Joemontanaflacco says:
    Sep 14, 2013 7:10 AM

    And this is the same wannab steeler fan that says he does not troll steeler’ post and makes an effort to be the 1st person slamming the steelers.

    CONGRATS on being a fan of a team that made the record books for the WORST LOSS EVER from a previous super bowl team!!

    BAHAHAHAHAHAH

  28. allhailkingflacco says: Sep 14, 2013 10:21 AM

    Time to bust out the reel to reels and watch your 1970’s Steelers.

    “Call us when you have 6, blah, blah, blah” lol

    Keep looking back Steeler fan, because that’s the only time you’ll see that team win anything for quite some time…. lol

  29. z06vision says: Sep 14, 2013 10:22 AM

    On the making the record books for the “WORST LOSS EVER by a previous super bowl team, which EXCUSE will the Ravens fans use;

    1- Ozzie planned it
    2- Ravens wanted it to make it exciting
    3- it was the steeler fault that we made the record books for the WORST LOSS EVER?
    4- All the above?

  30. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 14, 2013 10:35 AM

    @rockthered
    You left out:
    E. Hurling vulgar, filthy, and profane insults at others to try to make themselves feel better behind the safety of an anonymous computer name which they changed from vasteelersfan recently.

  31. clemenza58 says: Sep 14, 2013 11:03 AM

    Yes the team has pushed a lot of money into future years but there’s going to be a new contract coming for the franchise quarterback. When that happens the cap will become a little bit more manageable for 2014.

    Obviously this team is rebuilding but having Roethlisberger is going to at least keep them competitive during the process. And because they are rebuilding, some of those bigger names are going to begin leaving the team anyway. That’s been happening for two years now. I trust the front office. Their track record is pretty good when it comes to making personnel decisions. They do have to draft better than they have over the last couple of years but it looks like this year’s class is going to be productive.

    I know a lot of people that comment on this website are happy to see the Steelers struggling a little bit but even the biggest of haters can’t argue with the success this team has had since 2001. If it takes a little while to get back to that level so be it. The Steelers don’t usually have down years for long.

  32. holeinone09 says: Sep 14, 2013 11:05 AM

    Breathless to post drivel at 7:10 am EST on a Saturday morning? Wow.

  33. mborz says: Sep 14, 2013 11:25 AM

    I typically don’t get into the troll back-and-forth stuff that goes on, but why do some people pretend like it’s been eons since the Steelers have won the Super Bowl?

    Only 4 teams have won multiple Super Bowls since 2000, and the Steelers are one of them. The entire list is Patriots, Giants, Ravens, Steelers.

    In the past ten years, the Steelers have won more Super Bowls than the rest of their division – combined.

    So what’s with the disco and 70’s references?

  34. steelcurtainn says: Sep 14, 2013 11:28 AM

    Can’t wait to hear Nofool and his little toady Steelcrtainn spin their way out of this one. Hahahahaha!

    The first to post on a steeler thread AGAIN. What a big time loser. There is nothing to spin out of. The steelers know what their doing. You should be worried about your overrated team getting blown out on opening day by Denver and not the steelers EVERY post. Sorry, As a kid, you must have been beaten up by another steeler kid to explain you obsessed hatred for the steelers. Or maybe its the ravens 0-3 record against the steelers in the playoffs. Either way. Sad.

  35. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 11:31 AM

    Ladies your sad posts reflect your continued envy of the steelers and what they have accomplished. I can visualize the drool dribbling down your chin as you celebrate our imagined demise….sorry you have been saying same thing for years and almost believe its true by repeating over and over…….envy is food for the weak.

  36. jimthebuilder27 says: Sep 14, 2013 11:42 AM

    Not surprised, saw this coming from a mile away when they kept restructuring Big Ben’s and other players contracts.

    Time to start getting younger and more responsible. Fire the GM and Coach Tomlin (who won with Bill Cowher’s players and drove the Steelers into the ground). And for the love of God, take care of the salary cap instead of making short term moves to try and win now!

    If you take care of the salary cap, the salary cap will take care of you.

  37. stainlessstill says: Sep 14, 2013 11:46 AM

    Since 2001:

    2001: AFC Championship (lose to cheaters)
    2002: AFC Divisional Playoffs
    2004: AFC Championship (lose to cheaters)
    2005: Win Super Bowl XL
    2007: Wild Card
    2008: Win Super Bowl XLIII
    2010: Super Bowl XLV
    2011: Wild Card

    6 Division titles; 5 AFC Championships; 3 Super Bowl appearances; 2 Super Bowl Titles.

    What did your team do? The Steelers reload and WILL have a few down years only to shoot to the top. Regression is one thing. This organization will forever win, haters. Keep on hatin’ on!

    HERE WE GO!

  38. Deb says: Sep 14, 2013 11:48 AM

    bunkmcnulty says:

    Thought Colbert and the Steelers were smart enough to know you love the jersey and not who’s in it. Doesn’t always make you popular with your fan base, but it keeps you out of cap hell.
    —————————————————-
    Hey, bunk!

    A lot of truth to your comment, but these days good players cost big $$$ even if they aren’t big names. You guys had to deal with some of these issues this off season, too. And you know I have major respect for Ozzie.

    But yes … I am questioning some of Colbert/Khan/Art II’s recent moves. Even loyal fans can disagree with the braintrust now and then.

  39. kosarsmyidol says: Sep 14, 2013 11:58 AM

    If they’re in the market for a running back, I wonder if they’ll give Willis McGahee a shot, as he still has something left in the tank. Of course, if he were healthy and/or a bit younger, he’d probably already be on a team.

  40. thesteelskirt says: Sep 14, 2013 12:10 PM

    As a steeler fan I’m sick of the raven bashing from other steelers fans, they just won the SB and beat a better team that we lost to the year before (tebow vs manning) so u give them props. Having said that it won’t change the fact Tomlin won with Cowhers guys and now he looks average, if it wasn’t for the defense it would be a lot worse for us but I know the Rooney’s won’t let it crumble and well be fine.

  41. stillers213 says: Sep 14, 2013 12:20 PM

    It’s amazing that year after year fans and media have such a huge overreaction based on one game. The recent changes to training camp and the preseason has made the early part of the season more unpredictable since teams do not have nearly the same amount of time to prepare as years past. I hear the same crap from trolls every single year how the Steelers are done, blah, blah. Must suck to harbor such envy and insecurity.

  42. poesports says: Sep 14, 2013 12:21 PM

    z06vision says: Sep 14, 2013 10:22 AM

    On the making the record books for the “WORST LOSS EVER by a previous super bowl team, which EXCUSE will the Ravens fans use;

    Really? You’re trolling the Ravens on a loss. oh I’m sorry, the worst loss? LOL. Number 1, it’s previous WINNING Super Bowl team. Number 2, who cares! It’s very rare that a team goes undefeated. Ravens got smacked around. It happens. But to troll and hang your hat on that one? C’mon man.

  43. CKL says: Sep 14, 2013 12:25 PM

    Pitt is one of those teams that seems to manage their roster and talent fairly well so it’s strange that they are finding themselves so tight against the cap lately that they have to restructure guys. One reason to leave a decent amount of cap room going into a season is so that a team has some money around to sign replacements in case of injuries and I would say Pitt needs that room desperately right now.

  44. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 14, 2013 12:33 PM

    Worst loss ever by a Superbowl winning team? What kind of pointless spin is that? How about the worst loss ever by a Superbowl LOSER team? Does 35-7 ring a bell? I’m sure Harbaugh and Flacco feel a teeny bit better about a 22 point deficit than Tomlin and Roethlisbooger felt about being smacked for a humiliating 28 point deficit by a team the fans endlessly boasted about beating in the playoffs. So, Superiority complex Steelers fans, why are you harassing Ravens fans about something that happened to your team two years ago but only WORSE?

  45. lonelylibertarian says: Sep 14, 2013 12:37 PM

    Actually thought they should have started dealing with this a year ago. But given how things look now, they will have to start next year.

    1. Ben will have to decide if he wants to be a Steeler for life or move on. Working out a cap friendly extension will be priority one…

    2. Same for Polamalu and Woodely and maybe even Timmons and Taylor..

    3. Cleaning up the Sanders mess – big mistake not taking the draft pick – he signs for a reasonable number or is gone.

    4. Miller will have to prove he is healthy and can contribute or he goes – an 8-8 team can’t afford a $10M tight end.

  46. toybkshr says: Sep 14, 2013 12:44 PM

    “The only weakness on that team is the youth of the Oline and that will improve the more they play together”——————————————————————————————————-

    Someone is clearly delusional if he thinks this is the only problem with the steelers.

  47. stainlessstill says: Sep 14, 2013 12:52 PM

    You put up the results of a TRUE contender year in and year out like the Steelers have for the entire part of the decade, the wall is bound to happen. Look at New England. It’s happening. Point is, the Steelers are in cap hell, but if you pay attention, you see all the young guys who were groomed ready to step up. It won’t take long. One bad loss doesn’t equal to a season, but the organization is way too good to be down for long. Guarantee that!

  48. aljack88 says: Sep 14, 2013 1:32 PM

    6ball says:
    Sep 14, 2013 7:44 AM

    For several years the “Steelers” drafts have been less than stellar. You need productive rookies to replace some of the higher salaried veterans. This has not been happening and now the Steelers find themselves in a deep hole.
    ——————————————————
    Replace “Steelers” with “Patriots”…
    while the Pats don’t have the cap problem, the failure of drafting quality DBs and WRs over the past 1/2 decade is/will be taking it’s toll.

  49. tinbender2000 says: Sep 14, 2013 1:38 PM

    Like the Raiders the NFL is good when the Steelers are good.

    But just for Mr./Miss. Sixringsfreak: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  50. steelwarriors55 says: Sep 14, 2013 1:49 PM

    As a steelers fan,if they win less than 7 games this year,Tomlin needs to go.He took a very solid team and let the team downgrade a lot at every position.It might be time for a total rebuild.

  51. ydousuk says: Sep 14, 2013 2:02 PM

    Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 8:17 AM

    Hey UFT spinning is your game as you are the master of deceit and lies. I would be a liar like you if I didn’t know the steelers have cap issues,but they will field a team like you have many lies next year as well. Glad to see curtain and I are getting to you…remover the last time ..you had to change your name again

    _____________________________________

    Hey Skippy, you may want to proofread before you post.

  52. stairwayto7 says: Sep 14, 2013 2:14 PM

    Get rid of Pouncey! Hurt every yesr. Another Florida Gator failure. As for finishing in the basement in AFC North, that spot is reserved for the Clowns!

  53. nflcinbengals says: Sep 14, 2013 3:08 PM

    To all of Steeler nation, this is not directed to you. To crown and the six rings guy

    LOL!!!

  54. realitycheckbaby says: Sep 14, 2013 5:49 PM

    Here’s what should worry Pittsburgh fans – they haven’t won since the NFL started testing for PEDs.

    No more cheating horse steroids.

    No more cheating steroids at all.

    Pirates used to be decent. How many years since they had a +.500 year before this season?

    That’s where the Steelers are headed.

    Second class city. Second class team.

  55. voyager6 says: Sep 14, 2013 9:16 PM

    They just have to go back to the old Steeler formula…. literally!

    Find a doc who won’t get caught dispensing the ‘special’ stuff that turns third stringers into pro bowers.

    Ster… err…Super Bowl baby!

  56. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 9:34 PM

    realitycheckbaby says:
    Sep 14, 2013 5:49 PM
    Here’s what should worry Pittsburgh fans – they haven’t won since the NFL started testing for PEDs.

    No more cheating horse steroids.

    No more cheating steroids at all.

    Pirates used to be decent. How many years since they had a +.500 year before this season?

    That’s where the Steelers are headed.

    Second class city. Second class team.

    4 3 Second class troll posting under a second class alias…priceless unflushable skippy.

  57. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 9:36 PM

    Hey Skippy, you may want to proofread before you post.

    Thanks Timmy…..and you really do suck.

  58. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 14, 2013 10:40 PM

    realitycheckbaby says:
    Sep 14, 2013 5:49 PM
    Here’s what should worry Pittsburgh fans – they haven’t won since the NFL started testing for PEDs.

    No more cheating horse steroids.

    No more cheating steroids at all.

    Pirates used to be decent. How many years since they had a +.500 year before this season?

    That’s where the Steelers are headed.

    Second class city. Second class team.

    4 4
    Report comment. Say what you want about the burgh but nobody there has to explain the apparent loss of a white suit……right little skippy? Get six rings little poop bucket….then you well be envied like us. Envy the nectar of the jealous .

  59. ydousuk says: Sep 15, 2013 5:28 PM

    .then you well be envied like us.
    —————————————————————

    I can’t stress this enough…………Proofread………….

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