After failing to work out a trade over the past couple of weeks, the Steelers released disgruntled inside linebacker Larry Foote on Monday.
The 28-year-old Foote, a fourth-round draft pick in 2002, had been a starter for the Steelers since 2004. The emergence of 2007 first-round draft pick Lawrence Timmons, however, cut into his playing time in 2008 and he was expected to lose his starting job to Timmons in 2009.
"Larry has been a big part of our success, but unfortunately the realities of the salary cap made this decision inevitable," said Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert. "We wish Larry and his family nothing but the best as he moves forward with his career."
The release of Foote saves the Steelers $2.9 million in salary cap space.
Foote appeared in 110 games for the Steelers, making 83 starts, including two Super Bowl victories. He had not missed a start in the past five seasons.
Foote recorded 63 tackles in 2008, adding 1.5 sacks and forcing a fumble.