The offseason is now well underway for the Pittsburgh Steelers and that now means you can look for frequent 2023 salary cap updates from me moving forward into the spring and summer. My first initial 2023 salary cap snapshot for the Steelers was released a few days ago and since then the team has signed three more players to Reserve/Future contracts that impact the Rule of 51. Those three players that were signed are running back running back Anthony McFarland Jr., linebacker Chapelle Russell and defensive tackle Renell Wren. All three enter the top 51 as well.
This Saturday update has the Steelers with a top 51 number (top 51 contract plus dead money) of $228,909,927. When you factor in the 2022 carry over amount of $4,427,145 and the upcoming offseason workout bonus placeholder amount charge of $849,600, that puts the Steelers at $332,382 OVER a 2023 NFL salary cap number of $225 million.
So, at this point, you’re probably wondering why my number does not match the number from Over the Cap. They have the Steelers $4,496,218 under the cap as of their latest update. Let me show you why we don’t match and why we are $4,828,600 out from each other.
For starters, Over the Cap has not yet factored in the Proven Performance Escalator raises in 2023 for outside linebacker Alex Highsmith and guard Kevin Dotson. Each player will see their 2023 base salaries escalate up to the amount of the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) RFA tender for 2023. As of right now, that amount is estimated to be $2,629,000. I have accounted for that jump for both players and that has me using an additional $3,159,000 of cap space that Over the Cap is not using. That now makes the difference between my number and their number just $1,669,600.
Next, Over the Cap is not yet accounting for the forthcoming offseason workout bonus placeholder amount charge of $849,600. That now shrinks the gap between my number and their number down to $820,000.
For some reason, Over the Cap also has wide receiver Kirk Merritt ($940,000) for the New Orleans Saints being charged to the Steelers and they have yet to add linebacker Tae Crowder ($1,010,000) to their list of players as well. Factor in the difference between the salaries of those two players, and that’s another $70,000 found, for a difference of $750,000 between my numbers and theirs.
Where is that remaining $750,000 difference? Well, I have cornerback Cameron Sutton in the dead money pile as that is where he will end up soon. Over the Cap still has Sutton in their top 51 cap charges, albeit at the amount his dead money will be, $2.1 million. That technically means they have a top 50, not a top 51. So, if you add in the next highest salary of theirs currently outside of their top 51, that’s an additional $750,000.
Voila, I have now showed you why we are differing by $4,828,600. My number, however, is more realistic and I laid out why above. So, please stop telling me that my numbers are wrong.
The Steelers are currently an estimated $332,382 over the cap in their Rule of 51 as of Saturday morning.
Below are all the up-to-date graphics for you.