Busy day: Steelers restructure Woodley, sign Foote, tender four RFAs
March 13, 2013 2:45 AM
Jonathan Dwyer moves up the field on the Browns' Sheldon Brown during a November game.
Linebacker Larry Foote runs during a training camp workout last summer.
Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley sacks Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez during a game last season.
By Ed Bouchette & Gerry Dulac Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers have restructured the contract of LaMarr Woodley to create another $4 million in salary cap space for the team in 2013.
Woodley, signed through 2016, was scheduled to earn a $9 million salary this year. By turning about $5 1/2 million of that into a signing bonus, it would open the cap space this year, pushing off the salary-cap accounting into future years.
The team also reached agreement on a new contract with inside linebacker Larry Foote, beating the free-agency signing period that begins at 4:01 p.m. today and keeping him from leaving for the Arizona Cardinals.
In addition, the Steelers are close to an agreement to re-sign wide receiver Plaxico Burress -- a move designed to bolster the receiving unit with the expected departure of Mike Wallace.
The Steelers wanted to re-sign Foote, an unrestricted free agent, because they are thin at inside linebacker. Also, the team is not sure if Sean Spence, last year's third-round pick, will be able to play this season after sustaining a severe knee injury in the 2012 preseason.
Burress, a former No. 1 draft choice in 2000, signed a one-year contract for the veteran minimum in late November and played in four of the final six games. But, with the expected loss of Wallace, the Steelers have only two wide receivers under contract on their roster -- Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cotchery.
Finally, the Steelers today made one-year contract offers to four restricted free agents: running backs Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, nose tackle Steve McLendon and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Tendering the offers gives the Steelers the right to retain the players by matching any offer sheets they sign with another team, the Steelers said in a statement.
ESPN reported the Steelers placed low tenders on the four.
The low tenders are worth $1.3 million, but they have different values when it comes to possibly keeping or losing a player. All of them allow the Steelers to match any offer the player might sign as an RFA. In addition, if they do not match, Dwyer would bring a sixth-round draft pick and Sanders a third-round pick, because those are the rounds in which they were drafted.
McLendon and Redman would bring no compensation if they sign elsewhere and the Steelers do not match.