The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to release defensive end Aaron Smith and guard Chris Kemoeatu, according to several published reports Thursday.
Smith was a fourth-round pick out of Northern Colorado in 1999 and earned a reputation for being one of the most unheralded standouts in franchise history. The 35-year-old helped anchor some strong Steelers defenses during his tenure and has 44 career sacks to go along with 297 tackles.
Injuries have limited Smith to just 15 games over the past three seasons and only four games this past season. He's had only 16 tackles the past three years.
Smith's career high in sacks was eight, in both 2001 and 2004. He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2004 season.
Kemoeatu played in 13 games and started eight this past season for the Steelers. He had been a mainstay on the offensive line the previous three years, starting 43 games.
Kemoeatu was a sixth-round pick out of Utah in 2005.
The Steelers have had a busy offseason, including the news Wednesday that they plan to cut receiver Hines Ward. The team is trying to get under the salary cap and plans to offer a first-round tender to receiver Mike Wallace.