The Steelers were approx $24million OVER the cap at the start of all this a few weeks back, right?
By restructuring a bunch of contracts (4? 5? Including Ben's), cutting (Bryant) McFadden & Battle they are about even with the cap as of yesterday ...
By releasing Ward, they freed up over $4million in salary and almost $8million in cap space (Ward has pro-rata'd accelerators - its messy but for arguments sake its between 4-8mill) ...
They only need approx $8mill to sign Wallace ($9.4 is the franchise money, Wallace wants to stay also), so theyre already over halfway to signing him, PLENTY of other guys they could cut that have the younger guys waiting in the wings, draft or FA
Scott (29) $2million
Kemoeatu (29) $3million
Foote (32) $3million
Farrior (37) $2.8million
Aaron Smith (35) $2.1million
Hampton (34) $8.1million (but Colbert INSISTS Hampton is going nowhere - so looks like a restructure, which for his age and coming off an injury like that shouldnt be difficult to negotiate at all)
Right now, i think any team wanting to sign Wallace wont just have to give up a 1st (which is very reasonable tbh) but will have to be the leader in the negotiations, as i think the Steelers will let the market set his value, then just re-sign him.
Even if they dont there are some bloated contracts on aging players theyll have solved, as well as grabbing a first and having replacements already in situ.
Win: Win for Pittsburgh tbh. Well played