2015 Salary Cap

An Early Projected Look At The Steelers 2015 Salary Cap Situation

Now that the 2014 season has ended for the Pittsburgh Steelers, we can now look ahead to 2015 and more specifically at their salary cap situation.

As it stands right now, most around the league expect the 2015 NFL salary cap number to come in at around $140 million, so for now we will use that as our number. The real number will be determined in a few more months.

The Steelers currently have 38 players under contract for 2015 and according to my numbers, they total out at $126,659,992. In addition, the Steelers have $9,424,243 in dead money on the books for 2015. When you factor in cap payback and cap rollover that’s due you still need to fill out the roster to 51 players in order to have a working Rule of 51 number.

The league minimum for players in 2015 will be $435,000, so being as we need to hold places for 13 additional players on the Rule of 51, you need add another $5.655 million to the projected 2015 cap number cap.

While all of these numbers aren’t going to be exact due to unknown credits and such, the Steelers are approximately $2.087 million over the projected $140 million number as we sit here today.

So now that we have a neighborhood projected over/under number for 2015 to work with, we can now also look ahead to offseason business that will likely need to be done as far as new contracts and free agents go.

The Steelers have three restricted free agents in Antwon Blake, Robert Golden and Will Johnson and there’s a chance all three will be tendered at an amount in the neighborhood of $1.54 million each. Each one of those tenders would displace one of the minimum salaries on the Rule of 51 so essentially each tender would essentially eat up roughly another $1.2 million in cap space.

The Steelers also have a few exclusive rights free agents that they can tender during the offseason and while each would move the cap number up after displacement takes place, it really won’t be a huge increase.

As far as players likely to get extensions during the offseasion, all eyes will be on Ben Roethlisberger. A new deal will for him more than likely get done with him at some point and depending on what that extension and structure turns out to be, there’s a good chance  his currently scheduled cap charge for 2015 won’t move up very much at all as a good portion of his 2015 base salary will likely be rolled into the new deal. We have plenty of time to speculate about that, however.

Defensive end Cameron Heyward is also in line to get an extension done at some point during the offseason after having his 2015 option picked up prior to 2014. With an extension, his scheduled 2015 cap charge figures to lower some.

Kelvin Beachum will likely see his 2015 cap charge increase some as he qualified for a proven performance escalator due to playing time in 2014. In short, Beachum’s 2015 cap charge will likely come in at around 1.54 million.

Now, the Steelers can also save some cap money in 2015 if they decide to part ways with a few players. Cam Thomas, Brett Keisel and Lance Moore are all candidates to be released in March and should that indeed wind up happening, $5 million of cap space will be saved prior to roster displace in the Rule of 51. Remember, when a player is removed from the top 51 salaries on the roster another salary needs to take the place of it.

While safety Troy Polamalu is still under contract through 2016, there’s a chance he might retire or be released. Depending on how that is handled, he would free up $3.75 million in 2015 prior to roster displacement.

While many are currently calling for Mike Mitchell, Cortez Allen and Marcus Gilbert to be released during the offseason, I’m willing to bet that doesn’t happen. We’ll see.

Should the Steelers need to free up more cap room during the offseason via a restructures, Antonio Brown and Maurkice Pouncey are really the only legitimate candidates for that. Had Allen and Gilbert both played better in 2014, they would’ve also been restructure candidates as each are due roster bonuses in excess of $3 million during the offseason that could have been turned into signing bonuses.

UNDER CONTRACT
PLAYER BASE CHARGE DEAD SAVE
Ben Roethlisberger $11,600,000 $18,395,000 $6,795,000 $11,600,000
Lawrence Timmons $7,500,000 $12,566,250 $8,132,500 $4,433,750
Antonio Brown $6,000,000 $9,787,500 $9,662,500 $125,000
Troy Polamalu $6,000,000 $8,250,000 $4,500,000 $3,750,000
Maurkice Pouncey $1,750,000 $8,100,000 $10,400,000 ($2,300,000)
Cortez Allen $2,631,000 $6,981,000 $5,400,000 $1,581,000
Marcus Gilbert $1,900,000 $6,980,000 $6,120,000 $860,000
Cameron Heyward $6,969,000 $6,969,000 $0 $6,969,000
Heath Miller $4,000,000 $5,666,666 $3,333,334 $2,333,332
Mike Mitchell $2,000,000 $4,950,000 $3,800,000 $1,150,000
Shaun Suisham $2,595,000 $3,665,000 $2,280,000 $1,385,000
Steve McLendon $2,250,000 $2,808,334 $558,334 $2,250,000
Cam Thomas $2,000,000 $2,500,000 $500,000 $2,000,000
David DeCastro $1,030,531 $2,486,240 $1,030,709 $1,455,531
Jarvis Jones $1,196,410 $2,374,228 $5,144,161 ($2,769,933)
Ryan Shazier $852,146 $2,160,728 $7,778,622 ($5,617,894)
Ramon Foster $1,850,000 $2,150,000 $300,000 $1,850,000
Bruce Gradkowski $1,550,000 $1,833,334 $283,334 $1,550,000
Lance Moore $1,500,000 $1,822,500 $322,500 $1,500,000
Brett Keisel $1,500,000 $1,750,000 $250,000 $1,500,000
William Gay $1,500,000 $1,666,668 $166,668 $1,500,000
Cody Wallace $1,100,000 $1,250,000 $300,000 $950,000
Mike Adams $873,225 $1,127,525 $254,300 $873,225
Le’Veon Bell $779,600 $1,123,800 $688,400 $435,400
Stephon Tuitt $629,520 $1,047,601 $1,883,763 ($836,162)
Sean Spence $680,000 $816,345 $136,345 $680,000
Markus Wheaton $605,000 $752,844 $295,688 $457,156
Shamarko Thomas $585,000 $698,288 $226,576 $471,712
Landry Jones $585,000 $694,805 $219,610 $475,195
Kelvin Beachum $660,000 $671,474 $11,474 $660,000
Dri Archer $518,000 $644,504 $379,512 $264,992
Martavis Bryant $510,000 $619,805 $329,415 $290,390
Vince Williams $585,000 $604,670 $39,340 $565,330
Ross Ventrone $585,000 $585,000 $0 $585,000
B.W. Webb $585,000 $585,000 $0 $585,000
Jordan Zumwalt $510,000 $536,213 $78,639 $457,574
Daniel McCullers $510,000 $529,670 $59,010 $470,660
Josh Harris $510,000 $510,000 $0 $510,00
DEAD MONEY
PLAYER BASE CHARGE DEAD SAVE
Lamarr Woodley $0 $8,580,000 $0 $0
LeGarrette Blount $0 $475,000 $0 $0
Shaquille Richardson $0 $142,539 $0 $0
Wesley Johnson $0 $108,420 $0 $0
Rob Blanchflower $0 $44,550 $0 $0
Nicholas Williams $0 $28,924 $0 $0
David Paulson $0 $11,474 $0 $0
Howard Jones $0 $6,667 $0 $0
Eric Waters $0 $5,000 $0 $0
Josh Mauro $0 $5,000 $0 $0
Roy Philon $0 $4,000 $0 $0
Brendon Kay $0 $3,334 $0 $0
Ethan Hemer $0 $3,334 $0 $0
Will Simmons $0 $3,334 $0 $0
Chris Elkins $0 $2,667 $0 $0
Kaycee Ike $0 $1,667 $0 $0
TOTALS
PROJECTED TOTAL UNDER CONTRACT $126,659,992
PROJECTED TOTAL DEAD MONEY $9,425,910
PROJECTED RULE 51 FILL $5,655,000
PROJECTED 011/12 CAP PAYBACK $1,125,000
2014 CARRYOVER $778,469
PROJECTED TOTAL $142,087,433
PROJECTED 2015 SALARY CAP $140,000,000
PROJECTED OVER CAP $2,087,433
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