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Steelers to cut Joey Porter - merged

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Steelers cut Porter, Haynes to get under the capBy John Clayton


After two weeks of internal debate, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to cut ties with one of their most recognized players -- linebacker Joey Porter.

Porter and running back Verron Haynes were released Thursday as the Steelers got under the salary cap. But the decision to release Porter wasn't as much a cap move as it was a change in direction. A three-time Pro Bowl performer, Porter turned 30 on Feb. 27. And with new coach Mike Tomlin taking over for Bill Cowher, the Steelers were looking to go in a different direction with their linebacking corps.

Porter is one of the league's most outspoken players and is willing to verbally challenge opponents. His approach at time did not mesh well with the Steelers' image.

Over the past couple of days, Pittsburgh shopped Porter in trade discussions and there was some interest. In the end, the Steelers decided to give him the chance to find a new team instead of sending him somewhere he might not want to go.

Porter was entering the final year of his contract and there weren't any plans to sign him to an extension. Porter was scheduled to make $5.225 million this season. His release, and Haynes', save the Steelers $6.065 million of cap room.

Because Porter is still a productive player, some people in the organization wanted to keep him. On Thursday, management decided to move on. James Harrison is expected to take over for Porter at outside linebacker.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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ESPN Michael Smith and John Clayton reporting that Joey Porter will be cut today by the Pittsburgh Steelers. This story is funny to me because for the last four months three Steeler fans that work with me promised me that Joey Porter would be cut at the end of the season and that he would be a Cincinnati Bengal next year. I still deny that rumor about him being a Bengal he does not fit our defensive scheme, and plus when he is faced with a decent offensive tackle you don't hear his name all game. I'm not a Joey Porter fan at all that's like Osama Bin Laden becoming a U.S. citizen, Joey is a sworn enemy of the Bengals.

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So what number is Porter going to wear next year on the Bengals? As much as I hate him as a Steeler, the Bengals cut Simmons and we need LBing help BAD. This guy fits Marvin's system, is smart, and start right off. Don't be surprised to see this happen.

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All I have to say is Porter is an upgrade from what we have aside from Odell, I hate the guy too, but fact is fact this team is thin at LB, in terms of game experience, I say sign his ass to a one year deal and see what happens, a one year deal wont hurt us!!!! And besides if we sign him, do you all realize how much static we could give the friendly Stealer fans on here in the smack forum!!!! That alone would be worth it to say, ha Porter crossed over from the dark side and finally saw the light!!!!

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