NFL Free Agent Tracker March 5

NFL

The Steelers were busy today in their preparation for the NFL free agent season. They locked up two of their veteran players in restructured deals that help alleviate some of the salary cap pressure they would be feeling this season. Troy Polamalu has been a Steeler since being drafted out of USC, and has no desire to play anywhere else. He signed a three-year deal today that will essentially make him a Steeler for the rest of his career. The deal is worth 20 million dollars, and saves Pittsburg 4.5 million in immediate cap room.

Tight end Heath Miller also signed a two-year extension through the 2016 season. After a torn ACL in December of 2012 ended his campaign, many speculated how fast the burly tight end could come back from such an injury. He returned last year in the Steeler’s third game and helped turn one of the NFL’s worst  offenses around. His impact was evident and the Steelers locked him up to keep the productive tight end around as Big Ben’s security blanket.

The Steelers needed to create cap room after they signed Jason Worilds to a one year, 9.75 million dollar contract on Tuesday. They released offensive Tackle Larry Brown and well as Cornerback Curtis Brown and linebacker Larry Foote. They also agreed to a one year deal with safety Will Allen.

The Rams also made news in the NFL today when it was announced that they were releasing cornerback Cortland Finnegan. The Rams had interest in keeping the veteran player, but wanted to do so at a severely reduced rate. Since no agreement was made, Finnegan will test the open market. If another team signs him, the Rams will open up a significant amount of cap space for this year’s season.

The Chicago Bears have decided to retain the services of defensive Tackle Jeremiah Ratcliff, signing him to a two-year deal. Ratcliff joined the team in late November last year, and his 14.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks in limited action was good enough to earn him a more permanent role on the team. The Bears also cut ties with their punter, Adam Podlesh.

The Bills made a strong move today by extending safety Aaron Williams’ contract by four more years. The contract is worth $26 million, and will help solidify a defense that has shown signs of brilliance over the past few years. Buffalo will need the playmaking ability of Williams, as they have opted to not franchise tag fellow safety Jairus Byrd.

The Cowboys are in the midst of restructuring several big contracts in an effort to free cap space for the upcoming season. Tony Romo’s contract got a little bit sweeter for him, as he agreed to a deal that would change $12.5 million of his current contract in to a signing bonus, freeing up $10 million in cap space for the team. Dallas is still trying to rework a deal that would keep DeMarcus Ware as a Cowboy. In past years, they have simply restructured his deal to spread his salary out farther down the line, but are more unwilling to spend as much future money on the 32-year-old defensive end.

Commentary By Chris Chisam

Sources:
ESPN
NFL.com
CBS Sports

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