The difficulty of finding balance between the present and the future has to keep NFL general managers awake plenty often throughout the year. The Steelers find themselves stuck fighting that balance, while recognizing the pull of inertia from one year to the next can be quite powerful, and the ability to over-correct from one season to the next is always at risk.
Reader Greig Clawson makes a good point when discussing this in SteelCityRoller's "Mocking The Steelers Roster: Out With The Old" piece dated Feb. 5:
Much of the focus is on the 2013 salary cap, but I think the price tag of the 2014 roster will weigh just as heavy on what to do with many of these players. Any restructures will add to the cost of the 2014 cap, and then their is the projected cost of any rookies coming off their rookie deals after 2013 and 2014. It may be that the Steelers can make things work to keep Harrison, Keisel, etc around for 2013, but no way to make the math work out so that they can resign guys like Pouncey the following year.
Steelers 2013 Free Agency: Signing Keenan Lewis or letting him walk
Behind The Steel Curtain | Feb 6