The Pittsburgh Steelers have released linebacker Anthony Chickillo, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN on Monday.
Chickillo, 27, was set to earn just over $6 million in 2020 in the final season of a two-year contact. Instead, the Steelers will accept just over $1 million in dead cap charges to realize $5 million of savings by releasing the veteran linebacker.
A sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 2015 out of Miami, Chickillo became a reliable special teams contributor and backup in his five years with the Steelers. He played in 65 career games, making nine starts.
He had not started a game since 2017. In 2019, he played in just 11 games while missing time due to an off-the-field domestic incident with his then-girlfriend at Nemacolin Woodlands resort during the Steelers’ off week.
In his career, he has 97 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Last season, he had 19 tackles, one-half sack and one quarterback hit.
Even with the move to release Chickillo, the Steelers will still need to make more room in order to accommodate the franchise tag or signing of fellow outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who the team tagged earlier in the day on Monday.
The Steelers entered the day on Monday already over the salary cap without Dupree and his nearly $16 million cap hit will only partially be reduced by Chickillo’s release.
On the Steelers depth chart, third-year outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi will become the top backup at that spot, replacing Chickillo, while 2019 undrafted free agent and training camp fan favorite Tuzar Skipper will enter the offseason on the second team.