The Pittsburgh Steelers may have may three fairly substantial additions to their roster already this offseason via free agency, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are done utilizing that process to build their roster.
Following the signings of cornerback Steven Nelson, linebacker Mark Barron, and wide receiver Donte Moncrief, the team still has some holes that they could potentially look to fill at running back, tight end, and the defensive line, with outside linebacker and safety also being potential targets
“We still have some flexibility”, General Manager Kevin Colbert told Missi Matthews yesterday during a sit-down interview for the team’s website while he was in attendance at the annual league meeting. He was referring to their ability to continue to make additions via free agency based on their salary cap situation.
“It changes from day to day and deal to deal. We know we can still make some deals”, he said. “Not as much as we were able to do prior to signing the other three vets. As we move forward, it’ll go up, it’ll go down. We made a trade on draft day last year, so it can change daily”.
Based on everything that has already transpired up to this point in the offseason, the Steelers figure to have a little over $3 million in cap space, but that will couple with the impending trade or release of safety Morgan Burnett. An eventual contract extension for Ben Roethlisberger is another predictable source of additional cap space.
While the Steelers do not typically make many moves, let alone big moves in free agency, their preference is to be in the position to make the ones that they feel will be of benefit to their organization—to state the obvious.
For example, Colbert cited the release of former Los Angeles Ram Barron, who hit the open market only because of that fact, and thus couldn’t be predicted or planned for to be available. “These types of things will happen, and we just want to be able to have the flexibility to really do both”, he said.
The team doesn’t have much wiggle room at all going forward without doing anything not readily predictable, as the available projected space will more or less cover their draft class, fill out the rest of the roster and practice squad, and leave a bit of a cushion for in-season emergencies.
But let’s not forget about roster displacement, which is a beautiful thing. The Steelers could sign a player to a $1 million contract and it would only increase their salary cap by $425,000, because it will replace the lowest-valued contract currently in the top 51, which at the moment belongs to Olasunkanmi Adeniyi.