Steelers cut and restructure

The Steelers have restructured the contract of running back Duce Staley at a savings of $1.2 million, the first of a couple of different moves the team needs to make to get under the salary cap.

Instead of earning a base salary of $2.5 million in 2006, Staley will now earn $670,000. He will instead get $1.83 million in signing bonus, which will be spread over three seasons, lowing his cap hit in 2006 from $3.67 million to $2.34 million.

Staley is expected to move into a backup role behind starter Willie Parker in 2006, a role filled by Jerome Bettis last season.

The Steelers also released safety Mike Logan, saving another $1 million against their cap.

The question remains just what is that cap going to be?

NFL owners will meet Tuesday in Dallas to discuss the NFL Players' Association's latest contract offer.

The start of free agency has been moved back twice and now is scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

If the owners accept the NFLPA's latest offer, the salary cap would be in the $105 million range. If they do not, it will be $94.5 million.

The Steelers remain in contact with the agent of center Jeff Hartings, who is due a $750,000 roster bonus March 8 that will bump his base salary for 2006 to $4.75 million, the highest on the team now that Bettis has retired. Bettis had been scheduled to earn $5.35 million.

The Steelers would like Hartings to take a pay cut to lower his cap hit of nearly $8 million, but Hartings would prefer to extend his contract by a year or two to help lower the hit.

Courtesy of the Observer-Reporter

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