Steelers reportedly will release safety Morgan Burnett |

Steelers reportedly will release safety Morgan Burnett

Joe Rutter
Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Morgan Burnett (42) breaks up a pass to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cody Core (16) in the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Core was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to end the Morgan Burnett era after just one season. The veteran safety will be released before April 1, according to an ESPN report.

Burnett complained about his role as a dime linebacker with the Steelers and requested his release with two years left on his contract.

Burnett signed a three-year, $14.25 million contract with the Steelers last winter, with the deal including a $4.25 million signing bonus.

The Steelers can save $3.6 million off their salary cap by releasing the 30-year-old Burnett. They also could increase that savings to more than $5 million if they release him with a post-June 1 designation.

The ESPN report said the Steelers already would have released Burnett, but they have to delay it because of accounting issues.

The Steelers took a step toward replacing Burnett when they signed hybrid linebacker Mark Barron to a two-year contract last week. Barron could fill the dime linebacker spot in subpackages.

Burnett was the Steelers’ top free agent signing in 2018, but he was injured for much of training camp and early in the season, and rookie Terrell Edmunds jumped ahead of him in the starting lineup. He had two starts in 11 games and finished the season with 30 tackles, six passes defensed and no interceptions while playing just 37 percent of all defensive snaps.

After the season, he told NFL Network he wanted to be released because he didn’t feel comfortable as a dime linebacker.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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