Kevin Colbert is saving up for something.
The Steelers general manager has made a few moves since the start of training camp, and all were done with an eye toward not just getting the Steelers under the salary cap, but leaving a fairly large cushion.
Colbert added voidable years to the contracts of free agent signees Melvin Ingram and Trai Turner. He got the Jacksonville Jaguars to pick up half of the salary of linebacker Joe Schobert and then restructured the rest of the deal to leave him with a minimal 2021 cap hit.
Then, on Monday, Colbert restructured the contract of defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, not just in the traditional fashion, but by adding voidable years to the end of Tuitt’s deal to even further minimize his 2021 salary.
That left Colbert and company about $12 million in usable space — an enormous figure for a team that’s been bumping up against the cap all offseason.
So what could all that money be for?
Colbert could still be looking to add to the team. The squad’s tackles have generally underwhelmed in first-team action so far. Slot corner Antoine Brooks’ injury has made an already thin position even thinner.
He could also be saving money to ink an extension. A potential deal with outside linebacker T.J. Watt looms large, but Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden, JuJu Smith-Schuster and others are all playing under the final season of their contracts and could be offered an extension.
While we’re speculating, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be in that group, too.
Another trade? Signing one of the last remaining free agents? Locking up a player to a long-term deal? From the outside, just about anything is on the table.
Let the speculation continue.
News and notes from around the Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football League.
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