The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have any players poached off their practice squad during the 2018 regular season but that doesn’t necessarily mean that other teams didn’t try. In fact, judging by a Monday morning adjustment that showed up for the Steelers on the NFLPA salary cap report, it’s a good bet that a team attempted to poach outside linebacker Keion Adams off the team’s practice squad during the final week of the regular season.
As first noticed Monday morning by Ian Whetstone on Twitter, the Steelers likely increased the final week salary of Adams from $7600 to $28,235, which would have been the minimum amount he could have earned by being on the team’s 53-man roster during the final week of the regular season.
Looks like the Steelers raised the practice squad salary of LB Keion Adams for the last week of the season from the standard $7600 to the 53-man roster minimum of $28,235. Could mean that somebody tried to poach him away, and they ponied up to keep him around.
— Ian Whetstone (@IanWhetstone) January 7, 2019
We saw the Steelers do this same sort of thing with backup offensive lineman B.J. Finney a few seasons ago. This move at least shows that they have enough interest in Adams moving forward that they didn’t want to lose him to another team.
If you want to see the math involved in this, below are the totals that the NFLPA salary cap report had for the Steelers on Sunday and Monday mornings. You will see that the Steelers lost $20,635 in 2018 salary cap space in this latest update and that’s the difference of $7600 and $28,235. After that update the Steelers were left with $18,375,278 in 2018 salary cap space and assuming there aren’t any other forthcoming adjustments, that will be the amount they will roll over to 2019.
|Date||Current Contracts||Team Cap||Cap Room||Change|
As for Adams, who was originally selected by the Steelers in the seventh-round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Western Michigan, he spent the entire 2018 season on the team’s practice squad. Last week, Adams was one of 10 players that ended the season on the team’s practice squad to sign Reserve/Futures contracts for 2019.
Adams’s rookie season was wiped out by a shoulder injury so 2019 will be a key offseason for him and he should have a decent shot at finally making the 53-man roster if he remains healthy.