The Pittsburgh Steelers worked feverishly to get under the salary cap, restructuring the contracts of Willie Colon, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Ben Roethlisberger and Ike Taylor, as well as saying goodbye to James Farrior, Chris Kemoeatu, Aaron Smith, Arnaz Battle and Bryant McFadden.
According to a league source, the Steelers got a little further under the salary cap by restructuring the final year of nose tackle Casey Hampton's three-year, $21 million contract.
Hampton, who will turn 35 by the start of the regular season, was scheduled to earn $4.89 million in base salary with a $1 million workout bonus in 2012 and his cap number was $8.057 million. Under the restructure, Hampton reduced his base salary to $2.8 million and his workout bonus is gone, reducing his cap number by $3.09 million.
No additional years were added and Hampton will still be a free agent after the season.
The 19th overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft, Hampton has started 148 of 157 games, totaling 347 tackles and nine sacks, but anchoring a run defense that annually ranks among the best in the NFL. Opposing teams have averaged over 100 yards per game on the ground in just one season (2003) since Hampton arrived in 2001.