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Steelers 2017 Salary Cap: Projected Space For Start Of Free Agency

The 2017 legal free agent tampering period will get underway Tuesday afternoon ahead of the start of the league year on Thursday and with that, it’s time to take another look at the Pittsburgh Steelers salary cap situation.

As of Tuesday morning, the Steelers have 76 players under contract for the 2017 league year and thanks to Over the Cap and several NFL agents, below is a table of those signed players along with the base salaries and cap chargers for each.

During the offseason, the NFL works under the Rule of 51 which is the total of the top 51 cap charges on a team along with any prorated signing bonus amounts that fall below that number in addition to all dead money on the books. In the case of the Steelers, that number is currently projected to be $149,275,341.

While the 2017 NFL salary cap was set at $167 million last week, the Steelers 2017 cap number is essentially $170,269,367 as the team had $3,269,367 in unused cap space from the 2016 season that they chose to rollover, according to the NFLPA. If you subtract the Steelers current Rule of 51 number from the team cap number listed above, you will see that there is $20,994,026 in available space as of Tuesday morning.

Now, while that $20,994,026 looks great on paper, the Steelers have several future charges ahead of them that really need to be accounted for and I have itemized those for you below near the bottom of the table. Those future charges even include the offset amounts for the Steelers eight draft selections they’re currently slated to make at the end of April. That number is derived by subtracting the bottom eight base salaries of the players currently in the top 51 ($4.32 million) from the Steelers rookie pool amount, which OTC currently has projected as being $5,828,277. The other future charges I have itemized for the Steelers should be self-explanatory and while they might not be exact, they should be close.

The total of the Steelers projected future charges is $8,162,277 and if you subtract that from the $20,994,026 available cap space the team has right now you get a real expendable number of $12,831,749, which is at the very bottom of the table.

In short, while $12.8 million is a far cry from the nearly $21 million in cap space number that you’re likely to see floating around right now, it’s still more than enough to go free agent shopping with should the team decide to do so. Additionally, it’s important to remember that when and if running back Le’Veon Bell receives a contract extension ahead of the July 15 deadline that his 2017 salary cap charge should decrease quite a bit.

Now, as I have written several times over the course of the last several weeks, you can probably expect the Steelers to sign defensive end Stephon Tuitt to a contract extension once the team arrives in Latrobe for training camp. Additionally, tackle Alejandro Villanueva might ultimately receive a contract extension between now and the start of the 2017 regular season as well. As a result of any extension for those two players their 2017 cap charges will increase.

It will also now be interesting to see if the Steelers ultimately re-sign linebacker Lawrence Timmons and quarterback Landry Jones over the course of the next several days or weeks as both are currently scheduled to be unrestricted free agents come Thursday afternoon. If that happens, it will eat into some of the available salary cap space as well.

In summation, the Steelers are in great shape salary cap-wise as we sit here just before the start of the 2017 league year and in roughly two weeks from now we’ll be able to recap any new signings that will have likely occurred.

STEELERS 2017 PROJECTED SALARY CAP RECAP – 3/7/17
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 $1,100,000 $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
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
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
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
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
Karlos Williams $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 $146,542,619
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 $149,275,341
ADDITIONAL FUTURE CHARGES AMOUNT
Projected Draft Pick Signing Bonus Displacement $1,508,277
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 $3,000,000
SALARY CAP CREDITS AMOUNT
2016 Salary Cap Rollover $3,269,367
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 3/7/2017 $20,994,026
Projected Expendable 2017 Salary Cap Space As Of 3/7/2017 $12,831,749
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