The Pittsburgh Steelers made their ongoing retooling along the offensive line even more extensive with an unexpected move.
The Steelers announced Thursday they had released six-time Pro Bowl offensive guard David DeCastro with a non-football injury designation.
“David was without a doubt one of the premier offensive linemen during his time with us,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a release. “He helped us win a lot of football games, but it was David’s consistency, reliability and professionalism that stood out more than anything else. We wish him the best moving forward in his career.”
DeCastro, 31, had served as a starter on the Steelers’ line since 2013, one year after Pittsburgh selected him with the No. 24 overall pick in the NFL draft. He established himself as a staple on the interior, both as a pass protector for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and a formidable presence in the run game.
DeCastro was a Pro Bowl selection in each of the last six years and earned All-Pro nods in 2015 and 2017. He was set to enter the final year of a five-year, $50 million contract extension he signed in 2016. The Steelers saved $8.75 million in cap space with his release.
Pittsburgh now will have to replace four different starters from last year’s offensive front. Center Maurkice Pouncey announced his retirement in February, while left tackle Alejandro Villanueva (Baltimore Ravens) and left guard Matt Feiler (Los Angeles Chargers) departed in free agency.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pittsburgh Steelers release David DeCastro, six-time Pro Bowl lineman