Despite proving to be a serviceable NFL starter, it appears that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be releasing guard Willie Colon during the offseason, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Steelers will be looking to revamp the offensive line for the 2013-14 season and Colon is expected to be a casualty. Knee injuries ended Colon’s season and forced him to be placed on the injured reserve list. He is set to make $5.5 million next season.
By releasing Colon, the Steelers will free up $1.9 million in cap space and will be able to inject more youth into the starting line up.
Replacing Colon at left guard will be 2012 seventh-round pick Kelvin Beachum, who impressed the coaching staff down the stretch when he started the final five games of the season.
Beachum joining the starting line up will give Pittsburgh one of the youngest lines in the league.
Their 2013 offensive line is expected to feature Marcus Gilbert at left tackle, Beachum at left guard, Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey at center, 2012 first-round pick David DeCastro at right guard and 2012 second-round pick Mike Adams at right tackle. Yes, that will be three starters on the Steelers offensive line who were drafted just a year ago. Gilbert was drafted in 2011 and Pouncey in 2010.
The average age of the Steelers starting line will be 23-years-old. Gilbert is the oldest among the unit at age 24.
This will just begin youth movement in Pittsburgh as many of the team’s stars are beginning to show signs of age. The Steelers are hoping the young line will be able to keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger standing next season and bring on an injection of youth of his own.