NFL teams must be under the league's salary cap of an estimated $85 million by March 1. Releasing Scott saves the Steelers $2 million, while waiving Riemersma saves the team $1 million.
Those two moves should put the Steelers at or just below the
cap. But the team must tender offers to its restricted free agents
by March 1 or risk losing them without any compensation.
Among those players who must be tendered offers are
placekicker Jeff Reed, starting free safety Chris Hope, starting
inside linebacker Larry Foote and third-down back Verron Haynes.
In order to make those offers, the Steelers will likely be forced to
release more players or adjust the contracts of others. They are
currently working on a new deal for 2005 with running back
Jerome Bettis, who is scheduled to count more than $5 million
against the team's cap next season. If the Steelers release
Bettis, the NFL's fifth all-time leading rusher, they would save $2
million. But Bettis took a nearly $3 million paycut in 2004 and the
Steelers would like him to take a similar cut in 2005.
Scott and Riemersma are both former starters who no longer
figured into the team's plans.
The team's top draft pick in 1997, Scott had started 88 games
during his career with the team, picking off 19 passes. He
suffered a knee injury Oct. 17 of last season in a victory over
Dallas and did not return until the team's regular season finale
at Buffalo. Scott was replaced in the starting lineup by veteran
Willie Williams, who remained the starter even after Scott
Riemersma, a nine-year veteran, joined the Steelers in 2003
after being released by Buffalo.
Once a premiere pass-catching tight end, Riemersma's tenure
with the Steelers was marred by injuries. In two seasons with
the Steelers, Riemersma made 17 receptions for 220 yards
(12.9 avg.) and three touchdowns.
He started all 11 games that he played in during his first season
with the Steelers in 2003. Riemersma has caught 221 passes
for 2,524 yards (11.4 avg.) and 23 touchdowns during his
Steelers Not Done Clearing Salary Cap
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