Yesterday, the Steelers announced they intend to release seven-year veteran LB Larry Foote.Â Foote, at only 28,Â is still a productive LBÂ playing 110 games,Â with 83 starts, including two Super Bowl victories. Foote has played in all 16 games for six straight seasons and started all 16 contests each of the past five years. A former University of Michigan standout, FooteÂ is considered a strong player against the run but usually left the field in nickel situations.
In an article in the Detroit News, Foote said he would like to play for his hometown Detroit Lions.Â It is rumored the Steelers attempted to trade Foote during the NFL draft last weekend.
In the lineup behind Foote is the two-year veteran and former first-round pickÂ Lawrence Timmons. Â Timmons saw some game time last year in rotation with Foote, though it was thought he wasn’t quite ready to start.Â
Today team sources said Foote won’t be released until after theÂ Steelers upcoming minicamp,but Foote apparently believes he has been released and is now a free agent.Â According to the Post-Gazette, Foote said he wants to continue his career as a starting linebacker-which he should, by the way-and asked the Steelers to trade him so that he could do just that.
“It was my doing,” Foote told the Post-Gazette. “I wanted to go. They were trying to trade me.”
The fact that Foote was scheduled to earn a base salary of $2.885 million in 2009, a huge price to pay for a player projected to share the spot with Timmons, was certainly a factor in the Steelers decision to release him. Foote had a salary-cap figure of $3.5 million for 2009. The Steelers will have his base salary of $2.885 million refunded into the 2009 cap.