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Mike Florio Thinks a Potential Steelers Trade for Courtland Sutton Has Some Smoke

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Steelers Playoff courtland Sutton

The Pittsburgh Steelers have restructured the contract of outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, saving the team over $7 million in 2024 salary cap space on Wednesday. But could that be a signal of other things to come?

With a full restructure of Highsmith’s contract, the Steelers will save $7.206 million against their 2024 salary cap obligations. The savings will be spread out over the remaining three years of his deal. Highsmith had been set to count for $13.9 million against the Steelers’ cap this season, $16.2 in 2025, $17.7 in 2026 and $18.7 in 2027. Now, he will count for $6.7 million this season, $18.6 million in 2025, $20.1 million in 2026 and $21.1 million in 2027. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes the restructuring signals something is coming.

Florio also thinks there’s some smoke with the rumors that the Steelers could trade for Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that while the Broncos had not explicitly planned to trade Sutton, the Steelers are a team to watch.

“It seems like every Broncos game last year, Courtland Sutton was catching a touchdown. It’s not like it’s constant, constant, constant; he’s dominating games, catching 10 for 250. But he always shows up with a big play. He’s that guy that Russell Wilson seemed to develop a sixth sense with – spin here, spin there, roll out, throw the ball, Courtland Sutton goes and gets it,” Florio said during an appearance on 93.7 The Fan’s show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller.

“If that’s something to pull off, then so be it. Because something is clearly going on there between Sutton and the Broncos, he hasn’t been at offseason workouts. I know they’re voluntary, but the guys who are all in, the guys who are fully committed to the cause, tend to be there. If there’s an issue, that’s when they stay away. There’s been enough smoke with that one, and you’ve got the familiarity with Russell Wilson; that’s a plus. It’s a guy that’s proven he can play and proven he can play with this quarterback.”

Sutton has spent all six of his NFL seasons in Denver. Nearing the end of his rookie contract, Sutton signed a new four-year, $60.8 million contract with the Broncos in 2021.

Sutton has two years remaining on that deal. He is set to make $13.6 million this season and $14 million next season before becoming a free agent in 2026. Only $2 million of that salary this season is guaranteed, and none in 2025.

He would have come with a pricey cap hit, expensive enough that the Steelers would have needed to move around some chairs on the cap hit board. But now, they can comfortably trade for Sutton if they wish.

The Steelers have been in the market for a wide receiver since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers in March. They’ve struck out on free agents Mike Williams and Tyler Boyd, missing on Williams, who signed with the Jets, and reaching a negotiating impasse with Boyd.