Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert and Director of Football Administration Omar Khan are inching ever so close to their salary cap limit. If they are indeed intent on adding an experienced running back between now and June 2nd, they will have to create more cap room via a contract restructure or extension depending on what the player they are targeting is looking for in the way of money.
While the Steelers currently have just under $1.052 million in available cap space at their disposal, that is enough to add a running back with experience. In fact, as long as the first-year cap hit of the player that they want to sign isn’t more than $1.5 million, they’ll have just enough cap room available thanks to top 51 displacement.
The Steelers currently have New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount scheduled for a visit at the end of this week and being as he earned $680,000 last year, you have to wonder if he’d be willing to take a one-year qualifying contract from the Steelers.
If Blount were to accept such a contract, he would more than likely be given a $730,000 base salary and a $65,000 signing bonus. His cap charge on such a contract would only be $635,000 and the Steelers could easily accommodate that. In fact, that cap charge would only use up another $140,000 in salary cap space once displacement takes place.
If, however, the Steelers are still hoping to sign Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, you can likely bet that his first-year cap charge would be more than $1.5 million. In that case, the Steelers would more than likely restructure the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons, as it doesn’t sound like any extensions are on the horizon.
If I were to place a bet on this, my money would go on Blount signing a one-year qualifying contract on Friday, as he is the only running back currently scheduled for a visit. Should that wind up happening, the Steelers would still have $911,934 in cap space left. That would still be enough room to sign a few more players to one-year qualifying contracts before June rolls around.