The Pittsburgh Steelers signed linebacker Steven Johnson to a one-year contract last week and now that the deal has been filed with the NFLPA, the details have been made public by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
According to the report, Johnson’s one-year deal includes a base salary of $760,000. Additionally, he received a $25,000 signing bonus. Johnson also stands to earn another $55,000 as long as he makes the Steelers Week 1 53-man roster. He stands to earn $840,000 in 2016.
Steven Johnson Steelers deal: $840,000, $25,000 signing bonus, $760,000 salary, $55,000 first game 53-man roster bonus
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 28, 2016
This deal should ultimately qualify Johnson for the Minimum Salary Benefit Rule in the CBA and thus his 2016 salary cap charge will likely be $680,000 if he makes the team’s original 53-man roster. After roster displacement takes place, the Steelers ultimately used only $155,000 in available salary cap space to sign Johnson. Again, that scenario assumes that he ultimately will make the final 53-man roster.
Normally when the Steelers sign players to one-year contracts that qualify for the Minimum Salary Benefit Rule they give the fully allowed bonus amount at the time of the signing. This year that allotted maximum amount is $80,000. In Johnson’s case, they chose to split the $80,000 up with the bulk of it being paid to him should he ultimately make the roster.
Should Johnson ultimately wind up being cut before Week 1, the Steelers will incur a dead money charge of just $25,000 in 2016.
Johnson played last year for the Tennessee Titans and he’ll be expected to help the Steelers on special teams in addition to providing depth at the inside linebacker position.
The Steelers needed depth at inside linebacker in addition to a solid special team contributor after losing free agent inside linebackers Sean Spence and Terence Garvin to the Titans and Washington Redskins respectively over the course of the last few weeks.
Johnson originally signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and played three seasons there before being claimed off waivers by the Titans last September.