Pittsburgh clears about $8 million by reworking Roethlisberger's deal. This is the latest in a series of moves the Steelers need to make to get out of their $25 million salary-cap hole, but more work needs to get done if the Steelers want to retain wide receiver Mike Wallace.
If Pittsburgh wants to protect Wallace and put the franchise tag on him, the Steelers need to create an additional $9.4 million in salary-cap space. Pittsburgh can do so by restructuring the contract of linebacker James Harrison and making additional cuts. The Steelers can free up nearly $10 million by releasing wide receiver Hines Ward ($4 million), guard Chris Kemoeatu ($3.8 million) and defensive end Aaron Smith ($2.1 million).
Pittsburgh would clear another $4 million by cutting nose tackle Casey Hampton, but general manager Kevin Colbert was emphatic that Hampton will be on the team in 2012, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Still, the Steelers have put themselves in position to put the franchise tag on Wallace if they choose to do so. It's just going to take some more cuts.