Predicting The Steelers’ 2023 Cash Spending Based On Latest NFLPA Report

Happy Saturday, the last one of the 2022 NFL league year. I hope you are ready to nerd out on some numbers on this Saturday as the NFLPA released their 2022 cash spending amounts for all 32 NFL teams earlier this morning.

Let’s first look at that NFLPA 2022 cash spending report.

As you can see, the Pittsburgh Steelers spent $216,303,541 in cash in 2022, which was $8,103,541 more than the league’s cap number of $208,200,000. In short, the Steelers spent 118.5% of the league-wide 2022 cap number in cash and that’s mainly because they spent just 77.6% of the 2021 cap number of $182,500,000 in cash in 2021.

Now, before we move forward, let it be known that teams are required by the CBA to spend at least 90% of the league’s cap number in cash over a three-year period. The current three-year period is 2021-2023, by the way. So, according to the NFLPA cash spending reports for the last two seasons, the Steelers have spent $377,903,541 in cash, which is 96.7% of the combined league-wide cap numbers for 2021 and 2022, which is $390,700,000. In summation, the Steelers are in a great spot entering 2023 when it comes to them complying with the CBA’s 90% cash rule.

With the 2023 NFL cap number now set at $224.8 million, the Steelers should technically only need spend roughly $157,236,459 in cash in 2023 to meet the CBA’s 90% cash rule. Currently, the Steelers’ Rule of 51 cash total sits at $158,960,536, so obviously there will be no issue when it comes to them complying with the CBA’s 90% cash rule. It’s funny how close those two numbers are, right?

So, does this mean that the Steelers won’t spend more than $158 million in total cash in 2023? Absolutely not. In fact, I think there’s a good chance that the Steelers wind up coming real close to spending 100% of the league’s three-year span cap total in cash by the end of the 2023 season. To make it easy, the Steelers would need to spend a total of roughly $217 million in cash in 2023 to hit the 100% mark. If that’s the plan the Steelers will need to spend yet another roughly $58 million in cash moving forward.

How do the Steelers go about spending another $58 million in cash moving forward? Well, mostly by signing players not currently under contract. Specifically, signing players that will require substantial signing bonuses. Full signing bonus amounts count as full cash amounts in the years that are given even though they are accounted for differently, over multiple years, when it comes to the salary cap accounting process. Obviously, any new 2023 base salaries of those players signed also count as cash in the given year.

Ok, so how can we maybe run some predictions off another possible $58 million being spent in cash by the Steelers in 2023? Well, for starters, I think there’s a good chance that we see the Steelers re-sign cornerback Cameron Sutton in the coming days. If that happens, and depending on what his new contract looks like, it could result in around $13-$15 million in cash being spent for 2023 when you combine his base salary for the season with the signing bonus given to him.

I also believe that the current cash spent amounts through the last two years set up perfectly for the Steelers to sign outside linebacker Alex Highsmith to a contract extension later this summer. If that happens, we could be looking at the Steelers spending roughly around another $15-$18 million in additional cash on him.

What else is there for the Steelers to spend more cash on in 2023? How about the rookie draft class and undrafted free agent class? Based on my estimates, that’s going to total out to be around $22 million in cash spending when it comes to the draft class rookie pool and all signing bonuses.

Now, based on all of my expectations for Sutton, Highsmith and the entire rookie class, I have the team set to spend roughly around another $50 million in cash this offseason. If my expectations are that the Steelers will spend roughly another $58 million in cash this offseason, that leaves roughly another $8 million in additional cash, above and beyond Sutton, Highsmith and all rookies, that they are likely to spend on free agents this offseason, either their own or from the outside. For margin of error purposes, I suppose that number could be as high as $15 million above and beyond new contracts for Sutton, Highsmith, and the entire 2023 rookie class.

In closing, this is the first time I have really concentrated on predicting a total cash spend for the Steelers in any one year and that’s mainly because they are now entering the third year of the CBA’s three-year span. My final cash spending prediction for the Steelers for the 2023 year is $218 million. So with that, a year from now when the NFLPA releases the final league-wide cash spending amounts for all 32 teams, I will be interested in seeing how close my final prediction was.

Let me reiterate that this is merely a projection and prediction on my part and it is based on the Steelers spending right around 100% of the league’s total cap number from 2021-2023 in cash. The estimated amounts used in this post are just that, estimates, so please forgive me if I do not come extremely close on my final prediction as this is the first time I am attempting this process.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!