If you have been reading this site for a while now, and listening to the podcast, you have heard me mention the veteran cap credits the Pittsburgh Steelers once again have that their discretion to use towards the salary cap this season.
In short, these cap credits are in the new CBA to help teams gradually step up to the increase in the salary cap that is expected to take place when the new TV revenue comes into play in 2014. Teams can designate up to three players currently under contract, with at least 5 accrued seasons or more in the league, and take a $500,000 salary cap credit on each. Last year it was three, $1 million credits that team had at their disposal to use and the Steelers used them all on Casey Hampton, James Farrior and Hines Ward.
Now I should explain that this money is not free as it is borrowed money from future years that needs to be accounted for by 2017. Teams can spread the total liability out from 2014-2017 should they wish and this is exactly how I see the Steelers accounting for it.
As I have explained in several of the recent cap space post that I have done, I do not believe the recent numbers that nfl.com had posted as available cap space took into account these available credits. As of today, I am 100% sure they didn\’t. The Steelers I do not believe need to designate which players they will use these credits on until right before the season starts. Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported today that General Manager Kevin Colbert said that they will indeed be using these credits again this year. Basically what that means is that it creates an additional $1.5 million in cap space.
The Steelers figure to need as much cap room as possible this year should they finally come to terms with restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace on a long-term deal. Colbert did say today that the team is fine right now when it comes to cap room, but that they might have to re-work some things depending on what a new Wallace deal looks like. As I have mapped out in a previous post, I think they will be fine not having to restructure any deals, but we shall see.