By releasing Gay, the Steelers will save $1.75MM in cap space. The 33-year-old has never missed a game during his eleven years in the league, but the Steelers are opting to spend that money elsewhere rather than retaining the durable veteran. Gay was set to enter the final year of a three-year, $7.5MM deal.
The Steelers don’t have too many key contributors due to become free agents this offseason. But they still need to figure out if they’re going to extend running back Le’Veon Bell, who they placed their franchise tag on for the second straight season. The Steelers return Joe Haden and Artie Burns as their starting cornerbacks, with Keion Adams, Brian Allen, Cameron Sutton and Antonio Crawford on the roster as well.
Gay,33, is set to enter a cornerback free-agent class led by the likes of Trumaine Johnson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Prince Amukamara, Brent Grimes and Johnathan Joseph, among others. Richard Sherman became the first cornerback to agree to terms this offseason, agreeing to a three-year, $27.15MM deal with the 49ers, with $7MM guaranteed.
Gay was picked in the fifth round by the Steelers back in 2007. Outside of a year with the Cardinals in 2012, he’s spent his entire career in Pittsburgh, including their Super Bowl title run in 2008.