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Steelers OLB Malik Reed Takes Pay Cut after Trade

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Steelers OLB Malik Reed

New Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Malik Reed agreed to take a pay cut after being traded from the Denver Broncos to Pittsburgh, according to a report by Field Yates of ESPN.

Reed had been slated to earn $2.433 million in 2022 in the contract he signed with the Broncos. Instead, he will make $1.5 million with the Steelers after his trade on Tuesday.

It’s not clear why Reed agreed to the reduced salary. The Steelers are not in especially dire salary cap circumstances, with approximately $4 million in available cap space, according to Spotrac.com.

The Steelers paid just a sixth-round pick for Reed and received a seventh-round pick in return. Now that his salary has been reduced by nearly a million dollars, the cost of acquiring Reed has been reduced even further.

A former undrafted free agent, Reed became a starter for Denver in his rookie season and became a trusted complement to edge rusher Von Miller. In three seasons in Denver, Reed played in 45 games, started 34 and had 15 career sacks, 13 of which came over the last two seasons.

In Pittsburgh, he will be the No. 3 outside linebacker behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, providing critical experienced depth for a unit that has struggled to find it since Bud Dupree left via free agency in 2021 and Highsmith moved into the starting lineup.

“He’s an edge guy that provides good quality depth for us there,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s played a lot; he’s played over 700 snaps the last two seasons. He was kind of the third guy that got elevated and played a lot in Denver because of circumstances, [Bradley] Chubb, and others. He brings a type of experience that’s helpful to us. We’re excited about having him. He’s young and experienced. He’s 26. I talked to him this morning and he’s excited about getting on this moving train and putting his hand in the pile, along with the rest of us.”

Reed and the Steelers will resume work on Monday in preparation for the season opener at Cincinnati on Sept. 11

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