Logan agrees to deal, but who goes?

It looks as if many Steelers fans could get their wish in the next few days as the agreement on a new contract with veteran safety Mike Logan could spell the end of Brent Alexander's days with the team.

The Steelers have agreed to a three-year contract with Logan that will pay him just over $1 million per season. The question now is, how are they going to afford the deal under the league's $80.5 million salary cap?

With the team having less than $1 million in cap space remaining after the signings of Duce Staley, Clark Haggans and Chukky Okobi in the past week, the Steelers will need to make another move to keep Logan, their starting strong safety in 2003.

The easiest move would be to release Alexander, who is due a base salary of $950,000 this season. And because this is the final year of Alexander's contract, the only cost against the team's salary cap for releasing him would be the remainder of his signing bonus, which would put the hit at around $150,000.

Despite the fact some in the media bought into the Jason Gildon trade story, that remains unlikely since doing anything with Gildon before June 1 would only give the Steelers about $1 million in cap relief this season.

If the Steelers wait until after June 1 to either release Gildon, their 2003 savings would jump to over $3 million, with some of his bonus moving over onto next season's salary cap. That $3 million would then be used as the team's rookie salary cap this season.

Logan, who was also being courted by the Green Bay Packers, is expected to serve as a backup to 2003 first-round draft choice Troy Polamalu at strong safety and could also battle Chris Hope and Alexander – if he's not released – for the starting free safety position.

Logan started 15 games at strong safety for the Steelers in 2003, recording 93 tackles with one sack and one forced fumble. He has five career interceptions and 27 career starts, including 11 at free safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2000.

A former West Virginia University standout, the 6-1, 200-pound Logan joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2001.

In other news Thursday, the Steelers announced that backup defensive lineman Chris Hoke, who was a restricted free agent, has signed his two-year deal to stay with the Steelers.

Hoke was on the team's 53-man roster for all of 2003, but was inactive for all 16 games.

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