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Steelers 2017 Salary Cap Picture Already Looks Very Pleasing

Last weekend I provided you a full update on the current salary cap status of the Pittsburgh Steelers after they had concluded signing all of this year’s draft picks. With that piece of business now out of the way, we can now start peeking ahead to what the team’s salary cap picture in 2017 already looks like ahead of more extensions taking place in the coming months.

For starters, the Steelers have 43 players currently under contract for the 2017 season and the combined salary cap charges for those players is $115,482,961, according to my record-keeping. When you consider that many analysts already believe that the NFL salary cap will increase at least another 8% in 2017, the Steelers can currently be calculated as being roughly $52.2 million under next year’s projected salary cap number.

Now, the Steelers will of course need to ultimately have 53 players on their final 2017 roster so we’ll have to project 10 more players for our look-ahead estimate. Let’s start by adding David DeCastro, Le’Veon Bell and Lawrence Timmons under the assumption that all three will have their contracts extended between now and the start of the 2016 regular season. In order to provide us a nice buffer and be on the safe side, let’s assume the salary cap charge for each of those three players in 2017 will be $9 million.

Now that we have those three players extended and on next year’s roster, let’s plan on the Steelers 2017 draft class including 7 players with the cap charges of all of them totaling $6.5 million. Once again, that’s shooting a tad high just as a buffer.

As you can see, by extending those three players and adding a full draft class, I now have the Steelers roster at 53 players and totaling nearly $149 million in salary cap charges. Should the 2017 NFL salary cap indeed wind up being at least $167 million, the team would be roughly $18 million under the cap under my projected scenario. Keep in mind that these numbers also don’t take into account any salary cap money left over from 2016 that the team can choose to rollover. Additionally, note that Shaun Suisham and his $2.4 million base salary sticks out like a sore thumb on the list below.

Now, there will be elephants in the room that will need to be addressed next offseason and the two biggest ones will be Antonio Brown and Stephon Tuitt as both will be entering their final contract years. Even so, the Steelers will certainly be able to afford long-term extensions for both of those players in addition to being able to re-sign whichever of their own unrestricted free agents that they deem worthy.

Perhaps one of the easiest things to project right now about next offseason is the fact that the Steelers shouldn’t have to restructure any contracts. They’ve yet to do so this offseason and that’s good news.

As you should be able to clearly see, while many of the names below are sure to change come this same time next year, the Steelers should be in excellent shape salary cap-wise. I will provide you another full look ahead come the start of the 2016 regular season as we’ll know by then which players have been extended and which players have been sent down the road.

In addition to showing the Steelers players currently under contract for the 2017 season, I am also including the current list of notable Steelers players who are set to become free agents after the 2016 season that the team might seriously consider re-signing prior to the start of the new league year in March.

PLAYER BASE SALARY CAP CHARGE
Roethlisberger, Ben $12,000,000 $18,200,000
Brown, Antonio $8,710,000 $13,130,834
Pouncey, Maurkice $7,500,000 $11,051,000
Heyward, Cameron $5,000,000 $10,400,000
Mitchell, Mike $5,000,000 $6,763,750
Gilbert, Marcus $4,000,000 $6,511,000
Green, Ladarius $5,000,000 $6,187,500
Foster, Ramon $2,675,000 $3,591,666
Suisham, Shaun $2,400,000 $3,503,000
Shazier, Ryan $1,716,438 $3,025,020
Moats, Arthur $2,250,000 $2,883,334
Gay, William $2,000,000 $2,633,333
Dupree, Bud $1,273,390 $2,515,169
Harris, Ryan $1,900,000 $2,237,500
Burns, Artie $885,954 $2,179,769
Golden, Robert $1,465,000 $1,881,666
Tuitt, Stephon $1,048,560 $1,466,641
Heyward-Bey, Darrius $1,200,000 $1,333,333
Golson, Senquez $798,732 $1,091,194
Davis, Sean $635,771 $928,856
Bryant, Martavis $690,000 $799,805
Coates, Sammie $615,000 $772,879
Hargrave, Javon 560,000 $733,314
Zumwalt, Jordan $690,000 $716,213
McCullers, Daniel $690,000 $709,670
Hawkins, Jerald $540,000 $672,622
James, Jesse $615,000 $667,228
Walton, Leterrius $615,000 $644,232
Berry, Jordan $615,000 $615,000
Feeney, Travis $540,000 $565,089
Ayers, DeMarcus $540,000 $559,913
Matakevich, Tyler $540,000 $555,763
Newberry, Giorgio $540,000 $543,333
Severin, Canaan $540,000 $542,667
Sigler, Devaunte $540,000 $542,667
McCord, Tyriq $540,000 $542,333
Rogers, Eli $540,000 $541,668
Monday, Will $540,000 $541,667
Schooley, Quinton $540,000 $541,333
Maxey, Johnny $540,000 $541,000
Dooley, Matt $540,000 $540,000
Lang, Paul $540,000 $540,000
Anderson, Kevin $540,000 $540,000
TOTAL UNDER CONTRACT $80,648,845 $115,482,961

Notable 2017 Steelers Free Agents

PLAYER STATUS
Jarvis Jones URFA
Markus Wheaton URFA
David DeCastro URFA
Le’Veon Bell URFA
Vince Williams URFA
Landry Jones URFA
James Harrison URFA
DeAngelo Williams URFA
Bruce Gradkowski URFA
Cody Wallace URFA
Lawrence Timmons URFA
Greg Warren URFA
Steven Johnson URFA
Ricardo Mathews URFA
Shamarko Thomas URFA
Ross Cockrell RFA
Fitzgerald Toussaint ERFA
Alejandro Villanueva ERFA
B.J. Finney ERFA
Roosevelt Nix ERFA
Chris Boswell ERFA
Doran Grant ERFA
Anthony Chickillo ERFA
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