In a few more days the Pittsburgh Steelers second OTA session of the 2013 season will be completed and the calendar will flip over to June. With the arrival of June comes the arrival of $5.5 million in additional salary cap space for the Steelers as the March release of guard Willie Colon will finally hit the ledger. So how will the Steelers spend their new found riches?
By the end of this week the Steelers could very well have seven of their nine draft picks under contract with only linebacker Jarvis Jones and running back Le\’Veon Bell left to sign. In total, the four remaining unsigned draft picks will only use up roughly $1.4 million in cap space thanks to displacement in the top 51, so essentially the Steelers will have a little more than $4 million to work with moving forward.
It has long been speculated that the Steelers will sign free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston once June gets here. Should that indeed happen, you would have to think that his deal would be for around the minimum.
Despite the decision to sign free agent tackle Guy Whimper a few weeks ago after reaching out unsuccessfully to Max Starks one last time, the Steelers really could still use another veteran tackle to compete in training camp. Unfortunately, unless former Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Winston drops his asking price by a couple of million, the addition of another tackle is unlikely to take place.
Nose tackle Casey Hampton currently remains unsigned and is probably pretty happy he isn\’t having to go through the OTA\’s this year. The Steelers should have a pretty good idea heading into their mandatory mini camp as to where their young nose tackles are at in their development and could sign Hampton back if they don\’t like what they see by then.
While $4 million might not sound like a lot, it will buy quite a bit this late in the offseason thanks to minimums and displacement. That being said, you get what you pay for and the scrap heap has been picked over pretty good by now.
The Steelers generally like to keep $2 million or so set aside headed into the regular season to have in case of emergency, so I suspect we could have another low level signing or two between now and the start of training camp and perhaps even a contract extension or two between now and the start of the regular season.
In other words, the Steelers are just fine salary cap wise at this point of the offseason, just like I knew they would be.