The Pittsburgh Steelers made some more news on Monday and Tuesday concerning their offseason roster as not only was it announced that the team has now signed their third-round draft pick, center Kendrick Green, but also that inside linebacker Vince Williams has decided to retire. Both of those moves come on the heels of the team signing two free agents, outside linebacker Melvin Ingram and tackle Chaz Green to one-year contracts. On the heels of those two moves, it’s a perfect time to update where the team sits from a salary cap perspective for the 2021 season and with training camp now underway, and especially with several other Steelers blogs posting blatant misinformation concerning the topic.
For starters, we are still assuming that Ingram’s cap charge for 2021 is $4 million as it has been reported that his one-year contract totals out at that amount. The exact details of his contract have yet to surface, however, and maybe won’t until Friday or Monday. As for the one-year deal signed by Green, the details are also yet to be known but it remains likely that his deal is a veteran benefit one with a base salary of $990,000 and a reduced salary cap charge of $850,000. As for Green, we are still waiting on those details so until then, we must go with the projected amount that Over the Cap has on the center, which equates to a 2021 cap charge of $886,502.
Let’s start first with what the NFLPA shows on Tuesday morning for the Steelers. They still have the Steelers with 91 players under contract for the 2021 season, and the team $12,749,106 under the cap. The amount under is lagging behind to real-time, however, as the NFL has yet to process the signings of Ingram and both Greens and the two players waived to make room for them, tackle Jarron Jones and outside linebacker Calvin Bundage. The retirement of Williams is also yet to be accounted for but that move should not result in any cap savings as he was signed to a veteran benefit deal with zero guaranteed money.
In my last Steelers 2021 salary cap update I had already accounted for the estimated contract of the two new free agents, Ingram and Green. As for this new update, all we need to do is essentially account for the signing of rookie Green as Williams’ retirement has no impact. After top 51 roster displacement, Green is expected to use up just $36,502 of 2021 salary cap space.
So, the result of the Steelers most recent transactions should now have the team as being $9,372,604 under the cap, pending the official contract numbers of a few players.
Below is the latest breakdown of the Steelers’ current and future cap situation. The breakdown includes approximated predictable future costs the team will have prior to the start of the 2021 regular season. The breakdown should be self-explanatory.
As the chart shows below, all the Steelers’ presumed $9,372,604 cap space that they currently have as of Thursday morning is already all spoken for. In fact, you can essentially say that the Steelers are effectively $987,396 over the cap right now, based on predicted forthcoming costs the team will have between now and the start of the 2021 regular season.
As noted several times previously in posts, the Steelers could and might restructure the contracts of defensive end Stephon Tuitt and kicker Chris Boswell at some point between now and the start of the 2021 regular season. Those two restructures, if indeed done, would free up a little more than $5 million when and if they happen. The team is also expected to sign outside linebacker T.J. Watt to an extension at some point during the summer. Such a transaction could potentially free up, or use up, a little bit of 2021 salary cap space, depending on the structure and new money amounts of the deal.
Assuming the Steelers do intend on getting restructures done on both Tuitt and Boswell in the coming weeks, the team effective has an estimated $4,022,604 in 2021 salary cap space to work with right now. In short, the Steelers could still add a free agent player or two if they like if the 2021 cap charges of those players are around $3 million or less.
As you can see below by my numbers, other Steelers’ blogs are way off the mark when it comes to their recapping of the team’s salary cap situation. This is a result of them not having a grasp of what counts and doesn’t count against the Rule of 51, in addition to having a few wrong contract amounts and poor accounting habits.
If the contract details of Ingram, Green and Green are any different than expected, I will update the changes in another post. Remember, this update includes a few projected cap hits on the recently signed players.