Cortez Allen’s days in Pittsburgh could be over sooner rather than later.
Two years after signing a four-year, $24.6 million extension, the Steelers have asked the cornerback to rework his contract to include a pay reduction, according to a source.
Allen is due $4.4 million in salary this year.
If Allen rejects that offer, the Steelers could decide to release him as a 28-year-old free agent. Typically, if a team asks a player to take a pay cut, the team is prepared to move on if that player says no.
Allen missed 15 games last season due to a knee cartilage injury but is healthier now. In 2014, Allen also struggled with injuries, and an uneven performance earned him a benching. Perhaps a fresh start would allow him to revitalize his career.
If the Steelers designate Allen as a post-June 1 release, the team could get $4.4 million in savings while accruing $1.35 million in dead money in 2016. The cap space wouldn't hit the books until June.
Last month, general manager Kevin Colbert discussed Allen's Pittsburgh plight.
"Prior to him getting injured with the knee and the thumb, Cortez did some good things when he was younger," Colbert said. "His production per snap was really, it was impressive and that's why we signed him to the deal we did. Unfortunately for him and us, it just hasn't matched up."