There is some good news to pass along on this Week 13 Sunday morning concerning the 2022 season.
According to several Sunday morning reports, the NFL’s salary cap is set to get back on track in 2022. Reports indicate that next season’s cap is expected to reach the $208.2 million maximum agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association in May. While the final number has not been officially announced, but it’s expected to be revealed at the NFL’s annual labor seminar next week.
For 2021, the salary cap was $182.5 million per team, down from $198.2 million in 2020. It would have perhaps been much higher than that had the NFL and NFLPA not agreed in August 2020 to spread an anticipated multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall from the COVID-19 pandemic over several years.
In short, it sounds like the NFL will easily be able to set the 20222-salary cap number at $208.2 million and firm it up to teams much earlier in the offseason than has been done recently. Things can obviously change if there is a pandemic resurgence, but for now it looks like $208.2 million will indeed be the number teams can start working with.
As for what this news means for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s obvious great and especially on the heels of it looking like 2021 will be the last season in Pittsburgh for veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will have a $10.34 million salary cap charge in 2022 once his 2022-2025 contract years void 5 days after Super Bowl LVI.
So, where do the Steelers sit currently when it comes to an estimated 2022 salary cap number of $208.2 million? Well, when you factor in the current unused amount of 2021 cap space that the team will likely roll over, they are roughly $43.7 million under a cap number of $208.2 million.
That rough $43.7 million number, however, is based on the team only having 43 players making up their Rule of 51 right now. It also includes expected dead money amounts as placeholders for players such as Roethlisberger and others who will have their voidable years void during the offseason. The other players that match Roethlisberger’s 2022 status when it comes to voidable years voiding are wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, tight end Eric Ebron and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
As soon as the 2021 season ends, I will provide a full look ahead at the Steelers 2022 salary cap situation and that will include several things the team will need to budget for before and after the start of the league year in March.