Steelers Free Agency 2012: Pittsburgh Working Through The Salary Cap

The Pittsburgh Steelers went 12-4 for the second year in a row in the regular season in 2011 but they lost their first playoff game to the Denver Broncos in an overtime shocker. While the Steelers had a solid record, they were far from perfect. Unfortunately for them, they're going to fight an uphill battle heading into the 2012 season, especially in free agency. Some of the bigger name players that will be leaving the Steelers in 2012 are Hines Ward and James Farrior, who were both released to get back under the cap space. No. 1 wide receiver Mike Wallace is also a restricted free agent and

When it comes to team needs, the Steelers are in desperate need of a guard to help protect Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben played the last few games of the season injured, including the team's playoff game, and was pressured constantly in 2011. The offensive line has been a problem in Pittsburgh and if they want to stay a step ahead of teams like the Bengals and Browns, who both have up-and-coming defenses, they need to fix that problem. The Steelers also need help at inside linebacker, at wide receiver and on the defensive line.

The Steelers are in a little trouble when it comes to free agency. They're high enough above the salary cap that they are actually purging players just to get back to zero. While they need a guard, inside linebacker and depth at safety, they don't have the money to make a major impact in free agency. The Steelers will likely do most of their team building in the upcoming draft instead.

For more free agency updates, head to SB Nation's Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain.
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