The 2021 legal free agent tampering period will get underway on Monday at 4:00 p.m. EST and that’s when the countless unsigned free agents the Pittsburgh Steelers will have can begin negotiating with other teams. The Steelers currently have less than $5 million in 2021 salary cap space to work with should they want to get deals done with a few of their own free agents before Monday’s deadline and that amount still can grow quite a bit should they deem the need for it to.
For starters, the Steelers still have yet to restructure the contracts of defensive end Stephon Tuitt and kicker Chris Boswell. In total, the team can free up another $5.01 million in 2021 salary cap space by restructuring both of those players. They likely will need to do that at some point this offseason so it will be interesting to see if it happens before the start of the new league year on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. EST. Last year, the Steelers had quite a few contract restructures that happened right before the 2020 league year got underway.
Is there a contract termination or two planned? If so, odds are probably good that any contract terminations that need to take place will do so on Monday. Leading the list of candidates for a possible contract termination is inside linebacker Vince Williams. The result of such a contract termination on Williams would free up $3.34 million in 2021 salary cap space. The Steelers could also maybe ask Williams to take a pay cut down to $1.075 million to stay. Such a pay cut would result in $2.925 million in 2021 salary cap space being created. Will they do either? We’ll see.
While unlikely to happen before Wednesday, the Steelers could still announce some contract extensions that would result in 2021 cap savings as well. Cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Joe Haden would be candidates for contract extensions as would guard David DeCastro. As of Sunday, however, there have been no rumblings that the Steelers will have contract extensions done for any players prior to March 17. Later in the summer is when such extensions are a lot more likely and that goes for outside linebacker T.J. Watt as well.
Regardless of what moves the Steelers will make in the next 72 hours, there are guaranteed to be some. They will undoubtedly get a few of their own soon-to-be unrestricted free agents re-signed in the next 72 hours and likely with many of those players likely being inked to cheap deals.
So, buckle-up, we have an exciting new league year week on tap that’s sure to include a lot of Steelers news and we look forward to bringing all of it to you as soon as it happens.