The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most financially prudent teams in all of sports, but the front office will have its work cut out this offseason. The team is currently over the projected NFL salary cap for the 2020 season and some adjustments will need to be made.
Here are three players they should consider cutting loose or trading in order to create more financial flexibility.
3. LB Anthony Chickillo
Cutting Chickillo, a backup linebacker, will save the Steelers $5 million. Not only that, but he was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List this past season for an alleged domestic violence incident. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing, but when you're not exactly a prime contributor and there are any off-field concerns, consider yourself a cap casualty.
2. TE Vance McDonald
McDonald is certainly a good player, but he carries a $7.1 million club option for next season. If declined, the Steelers will save about $5.5 million. For a guy who's had just 102 receptions in three seasons with the team, that kind of money doesn't justify keeping him. Nick Vannett is a much cheaper option the Steelers can re-sign while also maintaining stability at the position.
1. LB/S Mark Barron
Releasing two linebackers would be tough for the Steelers, but they have TJ Watt and Devin Bush ready to take over and run the show. Barron had a good year for Pittsburgh this past season, but in an offseason where the team needs to save money, cutting Barron loose to recoup around $5 million is a realistic decision. The defense has succeeded without him, so this wouldn't be an irreplaceable loss for the Steelers.