Pittsburgh Steelers fans around the world are crying out in mourning after another round of cuts by the franchise. Over the past days, not only have the Steelers parted way with core veterans and fan favorites WR Hines Ward ,DE Aaron Smith and OG Chris Kemoeatu, today they added another fan favorite LB James Farrior to that list. Yes, the sentimental fan has reason to be sad, but the organization cannot be sentimental when making tough decisions.
While it is understandable that there has been an outcry from upset fans, however, those fans should take solace in the fact that the Steelers will continue to be competitive and compete for championships and should not have a steep drop-off into the future. The reality is, the organization has saved roughly $15 million with the release of veteran players this offseason, giving them the flexibility to possibly sign WR Mike Wallace to a long-term deal, as well as pursue lower-budgeted free agents to plug into the few holes on the roster.
More importantly, the organization proved that they have an understanding of their roster and are not afraid to make these tough moves. Unfortunately, some fans may not want to accept this truth today, and realize that the players released are a shadow of the ones that became household names over the past decade. In fact, some of these players may not have made it out of training camp in 2012 if they were retained as only one was a starter and even his snaps were decreased as the season progressed.
Fortunately for Steelers fans the draft is right around the corner, and the organization will be busy filling in glaring some holes this year making it easier to dissect potential draft picks. Until then, look back at the storied careers of these favorites like Ward, Smith and Farrior and realize that the way the Steelers conduct business is the right way, the only way to stay competitive year in and year out. The Steelers needed to make these moves, and they may not be done yet. Players such as LB Larry Foote, RB Rashard Mendenhall and even potentially LB James Harrison may be released or have to restructure their deals if they want to remain. Sad, yes, but a necessity in this salary cap era, absolutely.
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