With the 2018 NFL regular season starting to wind down we’re now beginning to get a better idea as to what the salary cap number for the 2019 season will ultimately be.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN on Tuesday, the NFL told its teams earlier in the day that the 2019 salary cap number is projected to be in the range of $187-to-$191.1 million.
NFL told its teams today that the 2019 salary cap is projected to be in the range of $187-to-$191.1 millon.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 11, 2018
This season the salary cap for teams was $177.2 million, so a jump of at least $10 million is expected in 2019 and that’s not overly surprising based off previous estimates by people such as former NFL agent Joel Corry.
As for how that projected salary cap number for 2019 will ultimately affect the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s first important to point out that the team currently has $18,522,596 in available cap space this season, according to the NFLPA, thanks mainly to running back Le’Veon Bell choosing not to play under the $14.544 million franchise tag. Whatever amount of salary cap space the Steelers do have at the conclusion of the 2018 season they’ll surely choose to roll it over to 2019.
The Steelers currently have roughly $180 million in cap charges and dead money on the books for 2019 and that’s obviously not even a full 51 players to get to the Rule of 51. In short, don’t work under the assumption that the Steelers currently have a possible $28-$30 million in available salary cap space to work with in 2019 as that’s the furthest thing from the truth. It’s merely a number and starting point to start trimming down from and a hollow one at that.
Remember, the Steelers will have to not only fill out the rest of their Rule of 51 number not long after their 2018 season ends, but also then address which players currently scheduled to be free agents they want to tender or re-sign and that includes Bell, who the team could foolishly decide to transition tag if they really wanted to. It’s also worth pointing out that a few decisions will need to be made when it comes to players currently under contract for 2019 such as safety Morgan Burnett, Marcus Gilbert and possibly even Joe Haden and Bud Dupree, who had his fifth-round option picked up this past offseason. Burnett and Gilbert are currently prime candidates to be cut by the start of the new league year in March.
The Steelers will also likely decide by March if they want to sign quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a contract extension. Center Maurkice Pouncey is also a candidate for a contract extension at some point before the start of the 2019 regular season as well. Such extensions for those two players would likely result in a little bit of salary cap savings in 2019.
As usual, I will have a full look at the Steelers salary cap situation for next season as soon as this season comes to a close. In the meantime, however, you can always take a peek at the numbers Over the Cap currently has for the Steelers in 2019.
In closing, Schefter’s Tuesday report isn’t monumental as the salary cap amount for 2019 was already projected to be around the amounts he passed along. Additionally, the final salary cap figure won’t be revealed until closer to the start of the 2019 league year in March.
Another sign of the NFL’s continued success and growth. pic.twitter.com/K5Tw7nOnqE
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) December 11, 2018