The Pittsburgh Steelers have been busy adjusting their offseason roster this last week and now the smoke is beginning to clear when it comes to the impact those moves had on the teams salary cap situation. On the heels signing outside linebacker Melvin Ingram recently, the official numbers have now been made public after it was initially reported him signing a one-year, $4 million contract. As it turns out, the deal Ingram signed included an additional four voidable years and that resulted in his 2021 salary cap charge being lower than expected. With those reported numbers for Ingram now known, it’s once again 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.
Let’s start first with what the NFLPA shows on Tuesday morning for the Steelers. They still have the Steelers with 93 players under contract for the 2021 season, and the team $11,939,106 under the cap. The amount under is lagging behind to real-time, however, as the NFL has yet to process the signings of rookie Kendrick Green, free agent Chaz Green and the retirement of Vince Williams and resigning of rookie Calvin Bundage. Those moves should all hit the NFLPA site in the next 48 hours. In the meantime, it’s easy to calculate what those moves will result in the Steelers salary cap situation looking like.
As a result of the Steelers most recent transactions, I have the team as being $11,712,604 under the cap, pending the official contract numbers of Kendrick Green. 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 but roughly $1.35 million of the Steelers’ presumed $11,712,604 cap space that they currently have as of Monday morning is already all spoken for. In fact, you can essentially say that the Steelers are effectively $1.35 million under 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 $6.4 million in 2021 salary cap space to work with right now. In short, the Steelers could still add a few more free agent players if they would like to 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.
The Steelers will likely be signing outside linebacker T.J, Watt to a very lucrative contract extension in the coming weeks and if they do, it will be interesting to see how much his 2021 cap charge winds up increasing, if any. Watt is currently scheduled to count $10.89 million against the cap as of Monday morning.