Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review
Steelers guard Willie Colon was placed on season-ending injured reserve for the third straight season on Tuesday, this time with a knee injury.
Now, the question arises if Colon, who signed a 5-year, $29 million deal before the start of last year, could be released during the offseason.
The Steelers are going to have a tough decision to make. Do they keep Colon and hope he can stay healthy, or sign free-agent guard Ramon Foster – who has never been hurt — to a new deal?
Believe this: Foster won’t be back next year unless he is assured of a starting position (and rightfully so), and with first-round pick David DeCastro holding down the right guard spot, a decision will have to be made between Colon and Foster sooner than later.
That decision will have to be made by the middle of March (when free agency starts). If not, then Foster will most definitely test free agency, and a solid guard with 29 consecutive starts surely would gain an opportunity on the open market.
Now, Colon is due $5.5 million this year, and because his contract was restructured last year to help the Steelers get under the cap, Colon will count a little more than $7.5 million against the cap next year. The Steelers could save approximately $1 million if they release him before June 1, but that’s not going to be the determining factor in what the Steelers decide.
I’m thinking that Colon will be kept and Foster will move on, but there are circumstances that can change that, most notably a new offensive line coach coming in.
But whatever happens, it’s going to happen quickly.