We can bitch and moan about the state of the Steelers, but what would you do to fix them? And I'm not talking about dwelling in fantasy land, either (e.g., Trade Ben for 5 first round picks
!). In fact, might as well not bother to suggest firing Tomlin and all the assistants and Colbert - we know that's not happening. There may be some heat under Tomlin's and Colbert's seats, but it's highly unlikely either are going anywhere. Far more likely are a few sacrificial lamb firings: Haley is the obvious choice; Danny Smith, STs? It's hard to see where the FO would cut.
So the more likely gambit is to address players.
Here are the big 10, in terms of average salary:
Player, POS, Age, Contract Terms, Avg. Salary, Guaranteed, Free Agent
Ben Roethlisberger QB 31 8 yr $102,000,000 $12,750,000 $33,200,000 2016
LaMarr Woodley OLB, LB 29 6 yr $61,500,000 $10,250,000 $22,500,000 2017
Troy Polamalu S 32 4 yr $36,500,000 $9,125,000 $10,550,000 2015
Lawrence Timmons ILB, LB 27 6 yr $50,000,000 $8,333,333 $11,000,000 2017
Antonio Brown WR 25 6 yr $43,040,000 $7,173,333 $8,500,000 2018
Ike Taylor CB 33 4 yr $28,000,000 $7,000,000 $8,000,000 2015
Heath Miller TE 31 6 yr $35,300,000 $5,883,333 $12,500,000 2015
Brett Keisel DE 35 5 yr $18,885,000 $3,777,000 $5,000,000 2014
Maurkice Pouncey C 24 5 yr $17,960,000 $3,592,000 $10,350,000 2015
Ryan Clark S 34 4 yr $14,000,000 $3,500,000 $5,000,000 2014
Right off, I don't think Clark or Keisel should be invited back, unless they're playing for ~ vet minimum and in backup roles. Clark has fallen off the cliff. Keisel's age has caught up.
If I could trade Woodley, I'd dump that fat contract. Worilds is showing he is nearly as disruptive, and Woodley is always hurt, out of condition, and he's almost 30. (Can't see cutting him though, with $14M+ in dead money.) Taylor's in a contract year, but his play is also going downhill. Unfortunately, the Steelers (who could have drafted Xavier Rhodes instead of Jarvis Jones) have too many guys at OLB and not enough quality CBs. Ike's a $5M dead money cut, so he plays out his final year and does not get an extension.
The big money, of course, is at QB. I'd extend Ben to 2018, front-loading bonus money and back-loading salary. Have some numbers to share later, but comparable to Flacco in SB/year and comparable to Eli in salary...