Tim Benz: Worry about why David DeCastro was released later. Worry about what remains of the Steelers offensive line

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TribLIVE 25 June, 2021 - 05:01am 22 views

Why was David decastro released?

Steelers Released David DeCastro for 'Non-Football Injury' In the NFL's transaction list, DeCastro is listed under "non-football injury," which could mean one of two things. Sports IllustratedSteelers Released David DeCastro for 'Non-Football Injury'

Did David decastro retire?

Following his release by the Pittsburgh Steelers, David DeCastro is considering retirement, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. DeCastro has had lingering ankle issues that have carried with his throughout the years. Last summer, he had surgery on the ankle prior to the 2020 season. Sports IllustratedReport: David DeCastro Contemplating Retirement After Release by Steelers

Hours after releasing longtime guard David DeCastro, the Steelers have signed another former Pro Bowler to take his place. As ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday, Pittsburgh has inked free agent lineman Trai Turner to a one-year contract, potentially giving the Steelers a new starting right guard in the wake of DeCastro's departure. Turner had visited the Steelers about a week earlier, but with DeCastro's abrupt release Thursday, the AFC North contenders were suddenly in dire need of more depth up front.

DeCastro's departure after nine seasons in Pittsburgh was deemed a non-football-injury release, meaning the Steelers believe the 31-year-old guard hurt himself while away from team facilities this offseason. DeCastro did not participate in the club's mandatory minicamp earlier this month, presumably due to said injury. The former first-round pick also underwent surgery prior to the 2020 season and is reportedly contemplating retirement in the wake of his release.

Turner, meanwhile, arrives as the presumptive successor at right guard. The 28-year-old veteran, who went to five straight Pro Bowls with the Panthers from 2015-2019, has had injury problems of his own, missing seven games in 2020 with the Chargers due to chest and groin issues. But he brings more starting experience than most of the reserves on Pittsburgh's roster.

All in all, the Steelers are set to open 2021 with at least four new starters on their five-man offensive line. In addition to DeCastro, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, left guard Matt Feiler and center Maurkice Pouncey all retired or signed elsewhere this offseason.

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Updating the Steelers’ salary cap situation after the release of David DeCastro

Behind the Steel Curtain 24 June, 2021 - 04:00pm

With the release of the former All-Pro guard, the Steelers now have the space available to add to the position.

While the exact details and reasons of DeCastro’s release are not done at this time, exactly how it affects the salary cap can be calculated. DeCastro carries a $5,547,500 dead-money hit with him being in the last year of his contract. But since DeCastro was the fourth-highest salary cap number the Steelers had for 2021 at the time of his release, the savings will still be significant. DeCastro’s $8.75 million base salary for 2021 is no longer on the books and does not count towards the Steelers’ salary cap.

But remember, we have to factor in the fact another player slides into the top 51 salaries for the Steelers. Carlos Davis was sitting outside of the top 51 contracts with a salary cap hit of $803,376. With that being the amount that comes into play, DeCastro’s ultimate salary cap savings is $7,946,624.

Now where do the Steelers currently stand with the 2021 salary cap? Before free agency kicked off, the Steelers were little more than $6 million under the salary cap. Since then, the number has fluctuated due to various moves.

To determine how much each player changes the Steelers’ salary cap space, their cap number must be adjusted due to roster displacement. As a reminder, roster displacement is taking into account only the top 51 contracts for a team count towards the salary cap during the offseason. As a larger contract comes on the books, it bumps a smaller contract out of the top 51. Therefore, it’s only the difference in those contracts that increases the salary cap number.

Here is the approximate breakdown of the Steelers salary cap space based on recent moves by my own calculations. The numbers are strictly the salary cap hit, or change from what it previously was, for each player in 2021.

Steelers salary cap space heading into free agency: Approximately $6 million

Approximate salary cap space: Approximately $15.3 million

Note: Miles Killebrew was the final contract displacing a $660k salary. From Cassius Marsh on, the displacement is a $780k salary. Buddy Johnson was the final contract displacing a $780k salary, so from that point on the contracts will vary which will be displaced.

So where does this number compare to those reported by the major salary cap websites?

According to overthecap.com, the Steelers are $7,389,993 under the salary cap. OTC has yet to account for the DeCastro release, so once they do their number will be extremely similar to mine.

Another credible salary cap website is spotrac.com, which has the Steelers at $15,821,653 under the cap. It should be noted that Spotrac does not have the offseason workouts on the books at this time. One last discrepancy comes from where they are counting the prorated signing bonuses of players not in the top 51 toward the salary cap. If adjusting for these things, their number is also about the same as mine. As for those signing bonuses they are counting, they will count toward the salary cap if the player makes the 53-man roster, but ultimately should be a savings as they would be replacing a player with a higher cap number. If the player does not make the team, their signing bonus will count as dead money for 2021 as well as 2022.

As for the Steelers’ only other player not counting toward the salary cap, Kendrick Green’s contract will slide into the top 51 once signed and will ultimately bump out Carlos Davis’ contract back out. The ultimate cost after displacement for Green’s contract will now be about $83k once it gets made official.

Also, the Steelers will need as much as an additional $10 million (a very high estimate, with $7 million coming in on the low end) come September when they need to account for all 53 players on the roster, sign their practice squad, and have some carryover in order to do business throughout the year.

The Steelers now have some salary cap space in order to make a move before training camp. Unfortunately, they also now have a large void left in their roster with the departure of David DeCastro.

David DeCastro

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