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Cap Casualty? Steelers Urged to Cut Highly-Paid Defensive Lineman

The Pittsburgh Steelers could look to release Larry Ogunjobi this offseason.



Steelers DT Larry Ogunjobi
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi runs out of the tunnel against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 29, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have lots of moves they will have to make this offseason to both help improve the team and get the cap space needed to make moves, but some of those could be tough decision. For example, Larry Ogunjobi is going to be a tough call. Finishing up the first year of a three year contract, Ogunjobi did not produce like the team thought he would throughout the season, leading to questions on if he should stay.

But Bleacher Report believes that the team needs to move on from Ogunjobi due to his lack of productivity this past season, plus with the arrival of Keeanu Benton.

“Ogunjobi is by no means a bad player, but his production doesn’t quite match his price point,” they wrote. “Pittsburgh needs to bolster a defense that ranked 21st in yards per rush allowed, and moving on from Ogunjobi could be part of the process.”

Ogunjobi’s cap hit will soar to over $13 million in 2024. tt’s not an easy number to swallow, especially when Ogunjobi ran as hot and cold as he did. But he is still a good starter, and the team, despite being $14 million over the cap, is not in such a dire place they must make the move. Instead, this should be decided by if Ogunjobi’s production can improve next season, and then they can decide to move on.

If they do release him, they will save over $6 million on the cap, while a post-June 1 cut would net them $9.75 million in cap relief. The savings are substantial but as with any three-year contract, so would be the dead money. It seems likely that they keep Ogunjobi for another given the lack of solution on the roster to replace him, along with the fact that the team could believe they can get him back to his old ways.