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Recap Of Steelers 2020 Moves, Salary Cap Trail Through First 10 Days Of League Year

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
Bud Dupree $15,828,000 $675,000 $15,153,000
Eric Ebron $3,500,000 $675,000 $2,825,000
Mike Hilton $3,259,000 $610,000 $2,649,000
Matt Feiler $3,259,000 $610,000 $2,649,000
Chris Wormley $2,133,000 $610,000 $1,523,000
Derek Watt $2,083,333 $610,000 $1,473,333
Zach Banner $1,750,000 $610,000 $1,140,000
Stefen Wisniewski $1,237,500 $610,000 $627,500
Kameron Canaday $1,135,000 $610,000 $525,000
Jordan Dangerfield $825,000 $610,000 $215,000
TOTALS $35,009,833 $6,230,000 $28,779,833

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
Ben Roethlisberger $9,750,000
Steven Nelson $3,670,000
Maurkice Pouncey $3,475,000
Vance McDonald $3,300,000
Joe Haden $2,975,000
Chris Boswell $976,667
TOTAL $24,146,667

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
Mark Barron $4,640,000
Anthony Chickillo $4,390,000
Ramon Foster $3,390,000
Johnny Holton $215,000
Roosevelt Nix $(35,000)
TOTAL $12,600,000

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)
Contracts 72
NFL Salary Cap $198,200,000
Team Carryover $3,081,389
Team Adjustment $92,235
Effective Cap $201,373,624
OTA Workout Debt Placeholder $676,800
Top 51 Rule Contracts $185,924,221
Practice Squad $0
Injured Reserve $0
Dead Money $8,991,462
Estimated Cap Space $5,781,141
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