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Steelers Restructure Contract of Center Maurkice Pouncey

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The salary cap savings just keep on coming for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This time, by restructuring the contract of center Maurkice Pouncey, according to a report by Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

Pouncey was set to carry an $11 million cap hit this season, but by restructuring his deal, the team could potentially create an additional $3.475 million in salary cap space for 2020.

It was important for Pittsburgh complete this restructure now, with Pouncey’s $3 million signing bonus due on March 22.

Pouncey has spent his entire career with the Steelers, earning eight Pro Bowl selections and first-team All-Pro honors twice over his ten seasons.

He marks the sixth Steelers player to have their contract restructured over the last few days, along with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, tight end Vance McDonald, corners Steven Nelson and Joe Haden and kicker Chris Boswell.

Steelers

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Projects Alabama C Landon Dickerson to Steelers in Latest Mock Draft

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ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers will select Alabama center Landon Dickerson in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in his latest mock draft.

Kiper, who released his second mock draft of the season on Thursday, has the Steelers staying with the No. 24 overall pick in the first round to take Dickerson in a mock draft that has three trades in the first round.

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Alabama grad could play center or guard, but would be immediately be slotted in as a replacement for retired starter Maurkice Pouncey at center.

Dickerson spent his first three seasons at Florida State before transferring to Alabama in 2019. He started four games at right guard and nine games at center in 2019 and started at center in 2020, where he was the winner of the Rimington Trophy as the country’s best center.

Dickerson suffered an ACL injury in the SEC Championship Game in December and concerns regarding that injury have depressed Dickerson’s draft value, but he is generally considered to be the best center in the class and no worse than a second-round pick.

NFL Draft Scout also recently projected Dickerson to the Steelers in a mock draft.

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Poll

Poll: What Was Biggest Issue with Steelers Running Game in 2020?

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The Steelers finished dead last in the NFL in rushing in 2020 and general manager Kevin Colbert has seen it as a top offseason priority to rectify that standing going into 2021.

The Steelers have already made a change in coaching, with Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm taking over as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

There will also be substantive changes to the personnel, as starting center Maurkice Pouncey has retired and starting running back James Conner, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, left guard Matt Feiler and right tackle Zach Banner are pending free agents.

“You can’t say the runners weren’t good enough or the quarterbacks weren’t good enough or the line wasn’t good enough,” Colbert said in speaking with the media last week. “To put out the kind of running game we did, no one was good enough. And again, that is a collective effort. … We need to finish (seasons). And I think having a strong running game helps teams finish in that time of year.”

With that being said, Steelers fans, which area of the running game do you think was the biggest issue in 2020?

What was the biggest issue with the Steelers 2020 running game?

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NFL

NFL Insider John Clayton: Steelers Out of Running for J.J. Watt

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One of the league’s most prominent insiders believes the Steelers are out of the running for free agent defensive end J.J. Watt.

Joining The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan on Wednesday, NFL insider John Clayton said Watt will not be joining his brothers T.J. and Derek in Pittsburgh.

Clayton sees the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills as the favorites to land Watt’s services.

For a potential dark horse, Clayton says the Las Vegas Raiders as an outside-the-box candidate to sign the veteran pass rusher.

Watt leaves Houston as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, named First-Team All-Pro on five occasions and earned three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards.

A future Hall of Famer, Watt is the Texans’ all-time leader in sacks (101), tackles-for-loss (172) and forced fumbles (25).

Watt recorded 52 total tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown in 2020.

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