Steelers 2023 Salary Cap Update – Thursday Afternoon – May 18

Quite a bit has happened since I provided my last 2023 salary cap update for the Pittsburgh Steelers as that was before the team’s annual rookie minicamp. Over the last week, the Steelers have signed four members of their 2023 draft class in addition to signing a few other players, claiming one other off waivers, and cutting another. While all the new contract data has yet to hit the NFLPA site as of Thursday, I do have enough educated information to provide a nice, speculated update as to where the Steelers now sit salary cap wise.

For starters, the Steelers re-signed quarterback Mason Rudolph on Wednesday, and while we do know it’s a one-year deal, I’ll have to guess at his cap charge, which should be close to the actual. For now, I am giving him a cap charge of $1,232,500. That’s the cap charge of tight end Zach Gentry and Rudolph’s charge should come in very close to that.

The NFLPA has yet to add the Steelers’ signings of four members of the team’s 2023 draft class to its database, but that withstanding, we already have a great idea what those slotted deals for tight end Darnell Washington, outside linebacker Nick Herbig, cornerback Cory Trice Jr. and offensive lineman Spencer Anderson look like and pretty much down to the penny. Additionally, the NFLPA has yet to account for the signings of wide receiver Hakeem Butler, cornerback Luq Barcoo,  and running back Alfonzo Graham and the claiming of defensive lineman Manny Jones off waivers. Those contracts are all easy to decipher, however.

One final update before we get to the speculated salary cap situation: the release of veteran cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and the placing of defensive lineman Renell Wren on the Reserve/Injured list have both yet to hit the NFLPA site. Even so, those transactions are easy to work through. Witherspoon’s release, by the way, created $1,482,500 in 2023 dead money. As for Wren, he goes to the Reserve/Injured list with a split salary charge of $475,000.

With all the moves accounted for up until Thursday morning, and when applying the offseason workout bonus placeholder charge of $849,600, the Steelers should be roughly $10,401,597 under the cap at the time of this post. Once again, any difference from that speculated amount is likely to come from the Rudolph deal. It should be a small difference, however, if my projection is off.

Now, the Steelers still need to sign their first three selections in the 2023 NFL Draft and that will happen at some point this offseason. We already have a great idea as to what those three deals will look like and based on the Steelers’ current Rule of 51, they would use roughly another $3,285,062 in 2023 salary cap space after displacement. That amount is accounted for in the table below when it comes to projected future costs the team must plan around.

So, depending on how you want to look at things right now, the Steelers are roughly $7,116,535 under the cap right now when it comes to all active 88 players on their offseason roster. As for Wren being on the Reserve/Injured list, he will count against the cap come Week 1 if he’s still on the list come that time, which is very possible. My projected future costs for the Steelers’ Week 1 Reserve/Injured list is $3 million, so Wren is currently on pace to be part of that amount.

When it comes to other future projected offseason cap costs for the Steelers, those are obviously roughy done based on the team’s history. Additionally, a full restructuring of the contract of outside linebacker T.J. Watt is expected to happen at some point during the offseason, especially if the team plans of signing outside linebacker Alex Highsmith to an extension. There will also be top 51 roster manipulation that will take place prior to Week 1 and that will likely include a few players being cut, which should free a little more salary cap space.

Once the NFLPA catches up with all these recent transactions made by the Steelers, I will provide another full update. By then, perhaps the Steelers will also have their remaining three unsigned draft picks, tackle Broderick Jones, cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and defensive tackle Keeanu Benton, all under contract.

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