While it has yet to be announced by the NFL or the NFLPA, a Friday evening report by Tom Pelissero of USA Today indicates that the 2016 salary cap has been finalized at $155.27 million per team. Should the report wind up being correct, it would be almost a $12 million increase over the 2015 number.
Based on my current calculations that include a carryover of $3,000,327 in unused salary cap space from 2015, in addition to projected future roster bonuses and a cap credit payback charge, the Steelers should be close to $10 million under a cap number of $155.27 million. Keep in mind that Steelers also have to account for their rookie draft pick pool in addition to a full practice squad and two more roster spots.
The Steelers will also likely free up additional cap space in the coming days via a few contract restructures. They also figure to lower the 2016 cap charge of linebacker Lawrence Timmons via either an extension or cut in salary in the coming days or weeks.
At some point during the offseason, the Steelers will also likely sign guard David DeCastro to a long-term contract extension and that in turn will lower his $8.07 million scheduled cap charge in 2016.