The Steelers found another $3.1 million in salary cap space Wednesday, working out a restructure of wide receiver Antonio Brown’s contract.
Brown, who signed a four-year, $42.5-million extension last August, saw his base salary of $4.5 million lowered to $650,000 for 2013. The remaining salary was turned into a signing bonus, saving the Steelers just more than $3 million in cap space.
The Steelers made a similar move with linebacker Lawrence Timmons Tuesday at a cap savings of $5 million.
The Steelers entered the week needing to trim about $12 million off their 2013 salary cap to reach the NFL limit of approximately $123 million by March 12.
Chiefs to trade for Smith: Alex Smith quietly stayed behind the scenes after losing his job and watched from the sideline as San Francisco returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years. Yet the No. 1 overall draft pick from 2005 did make one thing known: The veteran quarterback still considers himself a starter.
And he hoped to get that chance again. Now, he appears to have it.
The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to acquire Smith from the 49ers in the first major acquisition since Andy Reid took over as the team’s new coach in early January, a person with knowledge of the trade told the Associated Press Wednesday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot become official until March 12, when the NFL’s new business year begins. Another person familiar with the swap said the 49ers will get a second-round pick in April’s draft, No. 34 overall, and a conditional pick in the 2014 draft.
After spending his first eight up-and-down years with the 49ers, Smith will get a new start. The Chiefs will get the proven play-caller they hope can help turn things around under a new coach much the way Smith did under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco.
“You never know when your opportunity’s going to come,” Smith said late in the season. “The good ones are ready when they do come.”
Moving Smith was hardly unexpected. He realized it once Colin Kaepernick emerged as a capable starter over the season’s final two months, and Smith all but said goodbye with his first pro team when he played briefly in the regular-season finale against Arizona to cheers of “Let’s Go, Alex!” and “Alex! Alex!” from the Candlestick Park crowd.
With Smith now headed for Kansas City, Matt Cassel is likely headed out of town. And Reid will enter his first draft as Chiefs coach in April no longer needing to search for a quarterback.
White to make a comeback: Former Miami Dolphins and West Virginia quarterback Pat White wants to return to the NFL.
White’s father, Bo, said Wednesday his son is going to work out as part of West Virginia’s pro day in Morgantown March 14.
Bo White says Pat has been in San Diego the past few weeks working with personal quarterbacks coach George Whitfield, whose clients have included NFL quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.
Whitfield, who didn’t immediately return a telephone message, said on Twitter that he and the 27-year-old White “have been focused on his upcoming ‘relaunch.’”
The Dolphins selected White in the second round of the NFL draft in 2009. He played in 13 games in the Dolphins’ “wildcat” package but failed to complete a pass and was released before the start of the 2010 season. He was knocked out of game against the Steelers with concussion on a hit from cornerback Ike Taylor and did not play again.
The mobile White went 34-8 as a starter at West Virginia, becoming the first quarterback to start four bowl victories in college football history. He held the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback until it was broken by Michigan’s Denard Robinson in 2012 with 4,495.
Although White threw for 6,049 yards and 56 touchdowns in college, his quickness – he scored 47 rushing TDs at West Virginia – could be an asset as NFL teams mull whether to join San Francisco, Seattle and Carolina in incorporating the read-option running game into their offenses.