It is anticipated that the Pittsburgh Steelers will undergo significant organizational changes as we approach the 2024 NFL offseason.
The team may alter its coaching staff in addition to hiring a new offensive coordinator.
Pittsburgh also has to make improvements at quarterback, on the offensive line, and at several defensive spots.
They will want some capital space in order to carry out these changes.
One of the many players the organization can cut in order to free up cap space can be a previous Pro Bowl player.
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette thinks wide receiver Allen Robinson ought to be among the players dismissed.
Robinson’s release might create a lot of room for the other changes the Steelers need to make. Robinson underperformed in his debut season with the team.
A Gamble That Didn’t Pay Off for Steelers
The Steelers were aware of the danger they were taking when they acquired Robinson.
It didn’t cost much to acquire him. They and the Rams just traded seventh round picks.
Still, he was under a really heavy contract.
When Robinson was acquired by the Steelers, he was only entering the second year of a three-year, $46.5 million contract.
Considering that the receiver hadn’t achieved 500 yards since 2020, that was a significant investment.
The Steelers’ investment didn’t provide a profit.
In 2023, Robinson only managed 34 receptions for 280 yards and failed to score a touchdown.
He will now have a $11.9 million cap hit in 2024.
That represents a significant commitment for a receiver who struggled to make an impact during his rookie season.
Fortunately, it is equally simple to terminate his contract.
Robinson’s dead cap cost for the upcoming season is merely $1.9 million, thus releasing him would free about $10 million in cap space for the Steelers.
For a club that would still be set at receiver even without Robinson, it’s a very logical decision.
Plenty of Talented Pass Catchers in Pittsburgh
Although the Steelers are most known for their defense, over the past few decades, their ability to identify talent at receiver has perhaps been just as amazing as their defense.
The group has drafted George Pickens, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, Plaxico Burress, and Santonio Holmes since 1998.
Two of those players are still active, making it an unbelievable number of receivers with 1000-yard seasons to have been selected by one team in 26 years.
Most teams might succeed in the passing game with just Johnson and Pickens.
Throughout his tenure with the Steelers, Johnson has consistently produced, and Pickens’ 1140-yard season this past season demonstrated his potential to be a star in the league.
The Steelers have other pass-catchers besides those two.
Pat Freiermuth, who had 738 yards in 2022, is another one of theirs.
In his first season back fully healthy, Calvin Austin III gave the squad 180 yards on just 35% of snaps.
Despite just having 7 receptions in his debut season, third-round pick Darnell Washington might contribute more in Pittsburgh the next year.
With so many choices at receiver, the Steelers may decide to utilize a late pick to acquire a player to fill the gap.
The $10 million they would have saved on Robinson would be better spent elsewhere on the team.