The Latest on Mark Bruener

There has been a bit of speculation about Steelers TE Mark Bruener in the press of late, suggesting that he might be cut today, and that the Browns could be interested in acquiring him. We promised we would bring you more about Bruener's situation - and here it is, as promised. Here's the story as of 4PM Monday from Jim Wexell of

Mark Bruener showed up for work Monday the same way he has for every other work day this year.

"I'm going to do that until someone tells me I can't do that anymore," said Bruener. And no one told him to go back home yesterday.

Because the Steelers have signed free-agent Jay Riemersma and back-up Jerame Tuman to new contracts, and because Bruener is coming off of radical microfracture knee surgery, speculation has swirled around the team that Bruener, a former first-round draft pick and eight-year starter, would be released after June 1, thereby allowing the team to spread the cap hit from bonus monies into future seasons.

When asked if the Steelers need to make cap adjustments in order to sign the remainder of their rookie class, director of operations Kevin Colbert shook his head.

"No news to report," he said.

Colbert earlier had told his team's web site, "We don't have to do anything, either to go to training camp or to sign our draft picks."

As for Bruener, he's not asking any questions nor expecting to hear any answers.

"I really don't see any reason to worry about things I can't control," he said. "They're going to make a decision on what they're going to do and I can't control that. But what I can do is control how I prepare and how I perform on the football field. And I've been very, very fortunate as far as how I've come back from my injury and I'm very excited about it. I'm very excited that I have an opportunity to help this team."

If Bruener remains with the team under his current contract, he, Tuman and Riemersma will combine to take up $4.32 million of salary-cap space this year. Bruener's base salary for the season will be $2.05 million and he hasn't been asked to renegotiate.

"There's been no discussion on that at all," Bruener said, nor does he anticipate such a discussion.

"If you're being pessimistic than you would anticipate bad things happening," he said. "But if you're a realist or an optimist than I think good things will happen."

As for his knee, Bruener said he's nearly 100 percent healthy.

"I think I'm getting darn close," he said. "We're not doing a lot out here though. I mean you're not hitting as much and you're not pounding as much. I think the true test will come in training camp when you're really in the grind."

It appears as if Bruener will receive that chance at camp.

Jim Wexell
Steel City

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