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Cap strategies don't always pan out

The Steelers' struggles this year prove that spending big money to retain key free agents doesn't always result in success.

Updated: November 9, 2003, 10:59 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Once among the biggest losers in free agency, during a period in which they witnessed roughly a dozen high-profile veterans defect to other franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers three years ago opted for a new mindset.

They literally opened the bank vault wide, and figuratively bricked up the entrance to the Fort Pitt Tunnel, which leads out of the city along the Parkway West.

In part because of the opening of Heinz Field in 2001, the Steelers had an abrupt reversal of fiscal philosophy ...

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