The Pittsburgh Steelers that Browns fans have come to despise as a rival will undoubtedly look different next year.
After parting company with long-time receiver Hines Ward earlier, now the Steelers have cut bait with 10-year linebacker James Farrior. It only makes sense for the Steelers to get younger and Farrior was due just over $2.8 million in 2012.
In addition to Farrior and Ward, the Steelers have also informed Chris Kemoeatu and Aaron Smith that their services will no longer be needed. In all the Steelers have reportedly created somewhere north of $37 million of salary cap savings with all their moves.
Like any good Browns fan, I’m sure you all expect the Steelers to just magically find replacements for these guys for next season. While it is true that they might, this just goes to show how the best organizations rebuild on the fly, making tough decisions about beloved players from prosperous eras.
It won’t be easy though. The Steelers cut loose a lot of experience. Aaron Smith played 160 games with the Steelers since 1999, Ward played 217 since 1998, and Farrior played 154 since 2002. Even Kemoeatu has 75 games with the Steelers since 2006. That continuity has undoubtedly been a contributing factor to the Steelers competitiveness year-in and year-out.