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Steelers restructure Brown's contract to become salary cap compliant

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Friday, March 7, 2014, 8:42 p.m.
 

About a week after the NFL announced its salary cap for the 2014 season, the Steelers have worked their way into compliance.

The Steelers on Friday restructured receiver Antonio Brown's contract, sources familiar with the situation said, clearing $4 million in cap space and putting the Steelers below the $133 million salary cap four days before the league-mandated date of March 11.

The Steelers cleared just more than $20 million in cap space over the past three days. In addition to restructuring Brown's contract, the Steelers extended deals for safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller and released linebacker Larry Foote, offensive tackle Levi Brown and cornerback Curtis Brown.

The Steelers added $9.754 million in cap space Tuesday when linebacker Jason Worilds accepted the transition tag.

Brown, 25, had a breakout year in 2013 with career highs in catches (110), yards (1,499) and touchdowns (eight) on his way to making the Pro Bowl for the first time as a receiver.

It is the second consecutive year Brown restructured the five-year, $42 million contract he signed in 2012.

Despite being about $3.6 million below the cap, the Steelers likely will make more moves before the new NFL calendar starts Tuesday. The Steelers could release or ask veterans LaMarr Woodley and Ike Taylor to take pay cuts to save money that the team could use to sign some of their own free agents such as defensive end Ziggy Hood, receiver Jerricho Cotchery, running back Jonathan Dwyer or defensive lineman Al Woods.

A post-June 1 release of Woodley and cutting Taylor would save the Steelers about $15.5 million.

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