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Steelers 2017 Salary Cap: Projected Space Exiting Bulk Of Free Agency

While you can never say never, it appears the Pittsburgh Steelers are pretty much done doing their 2017 free agency shopping. Sure, there’s a possibility that another player or two might be ultimately signed, but even if that happens, they aren’t likely to spend much more than minimum on them.

With the bulk of the signings appearing to be behind us following the recent additions of running back Knile Davis, cornerback Coty Sensabaugh and defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, we can now take another quick look at the team’s 2017 salary cap situation.

As far as real-time numbers go, the NFLPA currently has the Steelers $19,176,718 under the cap as of Wednesday evening, but those numbers do not include the signing of Alualu. Additionally, the NFLPA isn’t currently counting wide receiver Martavis Bryant in the Steelers top 51 salaries and that’s likely because he’s yet to be reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell after he was forced to sit out the 2016 season due a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Including Bryant, as well as Alualu, the Steelers should be $17,191,718 under the cap come Thursday morning.

Now, the $17,191,718 is real-time and as I have pointed out several times so far during the offseason, there’s more charges ahead for the Steelers related to draft class signing displacement, adding 52nd and 53rd players to the roster, a 10-man practice squad, a cap loan repayment, offseason workout bonuses and in-season space needed to sign players. I have itemized these estimated costs for you below in the table and while they’re certainly not going to be exact, it should give you an idea of what lies ahead.

Personally, I always like to look at the Steelers’ cap situation in the future during the offseason and that’s why I have listed a projected expendable amount of cap space of $8,754,441 in the table below.

While that $8,754,441 still seems like quite a bit of cap space, let me remind you once again that a good chunk of that might ultimately be used on contract extensions for defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt and tackle Alejandro Villanueva. I can almost guarantee you that Tuitt will get an extension and when it comes to Villanueva, it makes sense to do it this offseason if the two sides can come to an agreement on a fair contract.

Personally, I think extensions for both could result in additional $8 million in salary cap space being used on the high side and I’ll be interested to find out how close I am to the actual number should both ultimately receive new deals.

As I have mentioned previously and most recently on the Wednesday edition of The Terrible Podcast, it will be interesting to see how the Steelers ultimately handle a contract extension for running back Le’Veon Bell. While it’s hard to fathom that not happening, it’s still hard to speculate as to what his average yearly value will ultimately be in addition to how the contract might be structured.

Being as Bell is currently slated to count $12.12 million against the cap as a result of him receiving the franchise tag ahead of the start of the 2017 league year, the Steelers might seriously consider paying him a good chunk of his 2017 money in the form of base salary as opposed to signing bonus. Sure, Bell will still receive a large signing bonus, but the lower it is, the less liability there is related to potential dead money in the future and when you think about his past injuries, suspensions and position he plays, you can see my line of thinking.

Regardless of how the Steelers ultimately structure Bell’s new contract, there’s a good chance his current cap charge of $12.12 million will be lowered. Like always, the devil will ultimately be in the details and luckily those details will be known by July 15, which is the deadline for Bell to be signed to an extension.

Let me end this post by reminding you that there’s always a chance a few players currently earning between one and five million in 2017 could ultimately be cut and thus save the team a little bit of cap space in the process.

Should any other significant signings take place between now and July 15 I will make sure to provide you another full salary cap update.

STEELERS 2017 PROJECTED SALARY CAP RECAP – 3/22/17
CONTRACTED PLAYERS
PLAYER BASE SALARY CAP CHARGE
Ben Roethlisberger $12,000,000 $18,200,000
Antonio Brown $910,000 $13,618,334
Le’Veon Bell (FRANCHISE TAG) $12,120,000 $12,120,000
Maurkice Pouncey $7,500,000 $11,051,000
David DeCastro $6,750,000 $11,050,000
Cameron Heyward $5,000,000 $10,400,000
Mike Mitchell $5,000,000 $8,135,416
Marcus Gilbert $4,000,000 $7,308,500
Ladarius Green $5,000,000 $6,187,500
Ramon Foster $2,675,000 $3,591,666
Ryan Shazier $1,716,438 $3,025,020
Arthur Moats $2,250,000 $2,883,334
William Gay $2,000,000 $2,633,333
Bud Dupree $1,273,390 $2,515,169
Vince Williams $2,000,000 $2,500,000
Tyson Alualu $1,250,000 $2,375,000
Landry Jones $1,900,000 $2,200,000
Artie Burns $885,954 $2,179,769
James Harrison $1,200,000 $1,950,000
Robert Golden $1,465,000 $1,881,666
Chris Hubbard (RFA TENDER) $1,797,000 $1,797,000
Ross Cockrell (RFA TENDER) $1,797,000 $1,797,000
Stephon Tuitt $1,048,560 $1,466,641
Darrius Heyward-Bey $1,200,000 $1,333,333
Senquez Golson $798,732 $1,091,194
David Johnson $900,000 $1,017,500
Coty Sensabaugh $775,000 $987,500
Sean Davis $635,771 $928,856
Sammie Coates $615,000 $797,379
Martavis Bryant $690,000 $793,346
Javon Hargrave $560,000 $733,314
Daniel McCullers $690,000 $709,670
Greg Warren $1,000,000 $695,000
Justin Hunter $775,000 $695,000
Steven Johnson $775,000 $695,000
Fitzgerald Toussaint (ERFA TENDER) $690,000 $690,000
Zach Mettenberger $690,000 $690,000
Jesse James $615,000 $667,228
L.T. Walton $615,000 $644,232
Alejandro Villanueva (ERFA TENDER) $615,000 $615,000
Anthony Chickillo (ERFA TENDER) $615,000 $615,000
Chris Boswell (ERFA TENDER) $615,000 $615,000
Greg Ducre $615,000 $615,000
Jordan Berry $615,000 $615,000
Knile Davis $775,000 $615,000
L.J. Fort $615,000 $615,000
Roosevelt Nix (ERFA TENDER) $615,000 $615,000
Jerald Hawkins $465,000 $597,622
Tyler Matakevich $540,000 $555,763
Eli Rogers $540,000 $541,668
Al-Hajj Shabazz $540,000 $540,000
B.J. Finney (ERFA TENDER) $540,000 $540,000
Brian Mihalik $540,000 $540,000
Cobi Hamilton (ERFA TENDER) $540,000 $540,000
DeMarcus Ayers $540,000 $540,000
Jordan Dangerfield (ERFA TENDER) $540,000 $540,000
Keavon Milton $540,000 $540,000
Brandon Dixon $540,000 $540,000
Trey Williams $540,000 $540,000
Xavier Grimble (ERFA TENDER) $540,000 $540,000
Akil Blount $465,000 $465,000
A.J. Hughes $465,000 $465,000
Canaan Severin $465,000 $467,666
Brandon Brown-Dukes $465,000 $465,000
Devonte Johnson $465,000 $465,000
Dez Stewart $465,000 $465,000
Dreamius Smith $465,000 $465,000
Farrington Huguenin $465,000 $465,000
Gus Johnson $465,000 $465,000
Jacob Hagan $465,000 $465,000
Jason Fanaika $465,000 $465,000
Johnny Maxey $465,000 $465,000
Kameron Canaday $465,000 $465,000
Kyle Friend $465,000 $465,000
Lavon Hooks $465,000 $465,000
Matt Feiler $465,000 $465,000
Marcus Tucker $465,000 $465,000
Mike Hilton $465,000 $465,000
Mike Matthews $465,000 $465,000
Roy Philon $465,000 $465,000
Ryan Malleck $465,000 $465,000
Projected Top 51 Under Contract $151,192,619
DEAD MONEY CHARGE
Shaun Suisham * $2,206,000
Ryan Harris * $337,500
Travis Feeney * $75,267
Demarcus Ayers * $59,739
Jordan Zumwalt * $26,213
Giorgio Newberry * $6,667
Devaunte Sigler * $5,334
Tyriq McCord * $4,667
Will Monday * $3,334
Quinton Schooley * $2,667
Johnny Maxey * $2,000
David Reeves * $1,334
Brandon Brown-Dukes * $1,000
Marcus Tucker * $1,000
Projected Dead Money Total $2,732,722
Projected Rule Of 51 Total $153,925,341
ADDITIONAL FUTURE CHARGES AMOUNT
Projected Draft Pick Signing Bonus Displacement $1,283,277
Projected Practice Squad Players $1,224,000
Projected Final Cap Loan Repayment $1,000,000
Projected 52nd & 53rd Players $930,000
Projected Workout Bonuses $500,000
Projected Allocated In-Season Cap Space $3,500,000
SALARY CAP CREDITS AMOUNT
2016 Salary Cap Rollover $3,269,367
2016 Salary Cap Credit 3/10 $847,692
2017 SALARY CAP NUMBER AMOUNT
2017 NFL Salary Cap As Of 3/2017 $167,000,000
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE AMOUNT
Projected 2017 Salary Cap Space As Of 3/22/2017 $17,191,718
Projected Expendable 2017 Salary Cap Space As Of 3/22/2017 $8,754,441

Data credit to: NFLPA, Over the Cap, Joel Corry, Aaron Wilson

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