Latest Steelers Buzz

Insider Only Latest Steelers Buzz: Haley regarded as a Rooney candidate of interest; Salary, Cap Hit rundown for 9 veterans in limbo

Hiring of Haley wouldn’t sit well with Roethlisberger
Jim Caldwell took himself out of the running for the Steelers offensive coordinator position, informing head coach Mike Tomlin on Sunday afternoon that he was accepting the quarterbacks coaching position with the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens made the move official on Monday.
As I reported on Saturday, Caldwell interviewed with Steelers officials on Friday but left town Saturday without the Steelers making an offer or any contract discussions being established between the Steelers and Caldwell’s agent Dennis Coleman.
Indications coming out of Caldwell’s camp is that they never got the feeling Caldwell was going to get the job and the fit just wasn’t there.
While Mike Tomlin interviewed his top candidate over the weekend, is Art Rooney’s candidate of interest next?
Surprisingly, the Steelers are doing their due diligence on former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley who is widely regarded inside league circles as a candidate of interest for Steelers owner Art Rooney II. Haley whose father Dick was the Steelers director of player personnel from 1971 to 1990, has Pittsburgh ties growing up in Pittsburgh and attended Upper St. Clair High School.
Haley, 44,  comes with a lot of baggage and is regarded as having a bad temper and being a crazy nut by many NFL insiders. Sources say Rooney has a tough draw trying to sell Tomlin on Haley, but Tomlin is at least giving the possibility a thought of bringing Haley in this week for an interview. 

If the Steelers would shockingly bring Haley on-board, the move is not expected to sit well with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Haley known for being tough with his players and not scared of getting into the face of star players, would be a complete 360 from Bruce Arians and not a good match with an established quarterback like Roethlisberger who for good or bad, doesn’t have too many coaches telling him what to do.
Haley’s last season as an offensive coordinator was in 2008 with the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL, ranking fourth in total offense and third in scoring, averaging 26.7 ppg.
Cuts still weeks away
The Pittsburgh Steelers brass are still in scouting mode and the team laying out their official off-season plans internally are still said to be a few weeks away.
The Steelers are more than $25 million over the salary cap and they kind of made their own bed to get into this situation, backloading deals for aging veterans and giving out questionable deals to the likes of Jonathan Scott among others, and the Steelers have become too attached to long-time veterans like for example extending Aaron Smith’s contract last August when the two sides restructured his contract.
The luxury for the Steelers is that this isn’t hockey and there’s creative ways to get under the cap through restructuring. However, several veterans will be cut loose and here are 9 veterans (all in their 30’s) regarded as potential cap casualties, carrying big cap hits.
WR Hines Ward (35) – $4 million salary, $4.87 million cap hit
LG Chris Kemoeatu (30) – $3.57 million salary, $4.35 million cap hit
OT Jonathan Scott (30) – $2.2 million cap hit
DT Casey Hampton (34) – $4.89 million salary, $1 million workout bonus, $8.056 million cap hit
DE Brett Keisel (33) – $2.85 million salary, $3.85 million cap hit – Believed to be safe
DE Aaron Smith (35) – $2.1 million cap hit
LB James Farrior (37) – $2.82 million salary, $3.85 million cap hit
LB Larry Foote (31) – $3 million salary, $3.6 mill cap hit
CB Bryant McFadden (30) – $2.5 million salary, $2.67 million cap hit

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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