Are the Pittsburgh Steelers now finished in free agency? It certainly appears that’s the case and if it is, they managed to get quite a bit done over the course of the last few weeks.
Not only did the Steelers sign outside free agents Derek Watt, Stefen Wisniewski and Eric Ebron since the start of the new league year, they also acquired Chris Wormley in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. In total, the 2020 salary cap charges for those players total out at $8,953,833. Even so, the acquiring of those four players only effectively used up $6,513,833 in salary cap space thanks to the displacement of bottom Rule of 51 players.
In addition to acquiring Watt, Wisniewski, Ebron and Wormley since within the last two weeks, it’s important to remember that the team managed to retain several of their own free agents as well, with the biggest one being outside linebacker Bud Dupree through the use if the franchise tag. That tag amount is $15.828 million, a price many wondered if the Steelers would be able to afford a little more than two weeks ago.
In addition to keeping Dupree in the fold, the Steelers also retained the services of tackle Matt Feiler and cornerback Mike Hilton via second-round restricted tenders in the amount of $3.259 million each. Additionally, three other players who were scheduled to become restricted free agents at the start of the new league year, long snapper Kameron Canaday, tackle Zach Banner and safety Jordan Dangerfield, were all re-signed just prior to that happening. The combined 2020 salary cap charges for those three players are $3,71 million and their re-signings effectively used just $1.88 million in available space.
Below is a line-by-line salary cap charge look at the Steelers moves the last few weeks and as you can see, they effectively used almost $29 million in salary cap space.
|ALL SIGNINGS & ACQUISITIONS|
|PLAYER||2020 CAP CHARGE||DISPLACED CAP CHARGE||DIFFERENCE|
Obviously, the Steelers needed to free up quite a bit of 2020 salary cap space ahead of the start of the new league year and they did so via six contract restructures, four contract terminations and one player retirement.
The contracts of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey, tight end Vance McDonald, cornerback Joe Haden, cornerback Steven Nelson and kicker Chris Boswell were all restructured within the last few weeks and the combined 2020 salary cap savings wound up being $24,146,667. You can see the line-by-line savings of each contract restructure below.
|2020 RESTRUCTURED CONTRACTS|
|PLAYER||CAP SPACE CLEARED|
The contracts of outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo, inside linebacker Mark Barron, fullback Roosevelt Nix and wide receiver Johnny Holton were all terminated at the start of the new league year and guard Ramon Foster retired. After top 51 roster displacement, those moves effectively cleared $12.6 million in 2020 salary cap space and below is a line-by-line itemization of each.
|PLAYERS RELEASED/RETIRED||POST DISPLACEMENT CAP SPACE SAVED|
So, what about the recent signings of the five former XFL players? While those five transactions have yet to be made official, and likely won’t be for several more weeks, none of them should affect 2020 salary cap space as all five players figure to have minimum salaries of $610,000.
Currently, the Steelers are estimated to be almost $5.8 million under the cap and below is a line-by-line itemization of that.
|Projected Steelers 2020 Salary Cap Space (3/28/2020)|
|NFL Salary Cap||$198,200,000|
|OTA Workout Debt Placeholder||$676,800|
|Top 51 Rule Contracts||$185,924,221|
|Estimated Cap Space||$5,781,141|