Steelers 2011 Salary Cap Total & Current Roster

Steelers 2012 Salary Cap

It is that time of year to start tracking the 2011 Steelers salary cap total numbers and roster situation as we head into the offseason. By my count after the Thursday signings, the Steelers have 51 players under contract right now for 2011. Bookmark this post as we will add and subtract and make notes here going forward to track the roster moves and salary cap situation. There is no hard number without a CBA, but experts estimate the number will be around $135 million, given how the cap has risen in years past. These numbers are estimations based on NFLPA figures and numbers gathered through USA Today and newspaper reports on contracts.

You should keep in mind the Rule of 51 going forward. This basically means the true total of your team cap until the final cutdown date is judged by rule of 51 where only the top 51 salaries counted against the salary cap. Going forward as the roster goes past 51, you will see 2 totals. A grand total and a Rule 51 total.

UPDATED on 3/6/11 – Included estimation of LaMarr Woodley one-year franchise tag amount and added Da\’Mon Cromartie-Smith and Sunny Harris to the list of players now under contract. Rule of 51 total now sits around $129,000,000 or so with 56 players under contract for 2011 thus far. The Steelers have tendered 5 players, 2 of which are restricted free agents, but until anyone signs, they will not be added to this list. Also Doug Legursky is an exclusive rights free agent and will be added to the list when he signs.

UPDATED on 7/21/11 – The 2011 salary is expected to be around $120 million.

UPDATED on 7/27/11 – Updated to add the 20 undrafted free agents and I adjusted the proposed minimum salaries per the reports. I currently have the rule of 51 total at $130,160,000 but I feel it is likely short. My feeling a more realistic number is around $131,000,000 or so. These numbers ONLY include players currently under contract. It does not include the draft picks, the restricted free agents or any free agents the Steelers have agreed to terms with. No player will be added to the list until under contract. These numbers will all change very rapidly over the next several days and I will update them as I get the numbers.

UPDATED on 7/27/11 – Updated to reflect the release of Max Starks and Antwaan Randel El. Rule of 51 total now at $124,920,000, but more realistically around $125,800,000 or so.

UPDATED on 7/28/11 – Updated to reflect the tender signings of Doug Legursky & Ryan Munday that are believed to be 1 year contracts worth $600,000. Rule of 51 total now at $124,120,000 and includes $2,300,000 of dead money, but more realistically around the amount might be around $125,000,000 or so with my error margin. These numbers still do not reflect the signings of Willie Colon, Jonathan Scott and Shaun Suisham currently.

UPDATED on 8/1/11 – Updated to reflect the new contracts of Ike Taylor, Willie Colon, Jonathan Scott, Daniel Sepulveda, Shaun Suisham, William Gay, Chris Hoke, Mewelde Moore and Dennis Dixon. I should note that the numbers of Hoke, Gay, Sepulveda, Suisham, Scott and Moore are guesses based on years accrued and guess at a signing bonus. Not all of these numbers are right as the numbers are not truly known right now. I also have taken a stab at the draft pick contracts and they should be close. Right now I have the Rule of 51 number just over $130,000,000 and this does not reflect the restructures yet of Roethlisberger, Keisel and Harrison as I do not yet know how much of the 2011 base of each was restructured. One could summize it was $5 million for Ben at least and maybe $1 million each for Keisel and Harrison. If that indeed is the case, the Steelers could be right around the $123,000,000 number right now. My Rule 51 number also includes the dead money of Starks and El, but there still is not clarity if teams will be forced to eat a portion of dead money this year or all of it next year in the new CBA as it relates to post lockout cuts. For now I have that $2.3 included in my number until I hear otherwise.

UPDATED on 8/5/11 – Updated to reflect the new contract extension of LaMarr Woodley. My current numbers still do not reflect the restructures of James Harrison, Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Keisel, Chris Kemoeatu and Heath Miller as I am still gathering information on those. I have the rule 51 total around $127,000,000 or so and there restructures very well could save another $10 million realistically the way I have done initial figuring. If indeed this is the case, the Steelers would be in the neighborhood of $117,000,000 and have plenty of room for another extension for both Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons as it would raise the Timmons cap hit and lower the Polamalu cap it.

UPDATED on 8/5/11 – Cleaned up some errors, but still waiting on word of the restructures which I think could total up to $10,000,000. I mentioned previously that there is still some cloudiness on how the post lockout cuts dead money will be handled this year. I currently am charging using the old post June 1st cut rules, so there might $2,300,000 more in room. At the very least it is a nice margin of error buffer at this point. Rest assured the Steelers are under the cap by a good $5-7 million or more at this point in my honest opinion. More updates coming soon.

UPDATED on 8/7/11 – Updated to reflect Keisel restructure that created $1.35 million in cap space by converting $2.025 million in base salary into a signing bonus.

UPDATED on 8/8/11 – Added Jarrett Crittenton and deleted Ty Boyle. Move does not affect Rule of 51 total.

UPDATED on 8/9/11 – updated to reflect restructures of Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison, Heath Miller and Chris Kemoeatu. I currently have the rule of 51 number around $119,500,000 which is around $4 million under the cap. Ed Bouchette posted yesterday that the Steelers were only $3 million under so that means I am around $1 million off which is not too bad at this point in the game. I should still note that I am still including $2.3 million in dead money in my number as I have still yet to clarify if the post lockout cut rule as it applies to dead money this year. I am using the old post June 1st cut rule until I hear otherwise. This could mean my numbers could be off by that much more.

UPDATED on 8/16/11 – updated to reflect Jerricho Cotchery signing and had left out Tony Hills all this time since he signed his tender. Thanks to Josh in the comments. Rule of 51 total around $120,623,167 or nearly $3 million under the cap. I know of a few errors I need to correct over the next few days, but for the most part this is pretty close to the number which I believe to be around $4.5 million under. I think I am around $1.7 million or so off and I think I know where that may be as I am still including dead money that I believe the league is allowing to be pushed off until 2012. If that is the case, I am off by $600 K or so and think I can get it even closer.

UPDATED on 8/24/11 – updated to reflect new contract of Lawrence Timmons and the signing of Trai Essex. Also reflected is the drop of Limas Sweed and the addition of the other players to the roster. I finally was able to get around to correcting a few errors I knew that I had. The current Rule of 51 cap number is around $121,798,542 and I think I am a bit high there. Realistically I think the Steelers sit around $121,000,000 or about $2.4 million under the cap.

UPDATED on 8/30/11 – updated to reflect the first round of cuts as the roster as been trimmed to 80 players with Baron Batch on injured reserve. Batch will count fully against the cap on IR once season starts. UI currently have them around $121,525,542 but more realistically it is around $121,000,000 which would be about $2.4 million under the cap.

UPDATED on 9/14/11 – updated to fix several small errors I had and reflect the last cuts and dead money. I still do not have the official numbers of the new Troy Polamalu contract, but early word is his 2011 cap number might have increased from his previous 2011 cap hit hit of $8,595,000. Also not included yet is the signing of Jamon Meredith. It is however believed that his deal was for the minimum far around $600,000 with no signing bonus. If indeed the number of Polamalu is now over $9 million and you add in the Meredith contract, the Steelers could very well be roughly less than a million under the cap as of right now.

# First Name Last Name Pos. Age Exp. Final SeasonBase SalaryCap Charge
TotalsDead Money$3,017,131
Cap Total$122,496,446

  • Josh C.

    You are the man. I have been waiting on an updated version of this. I assume you will track this all Summer like last year. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this site.

  • Dave Bryan

    Yes. Mewelde Moore is a free agent, Chris.

    Josh, my pleasure!

  • Jesse

    Maybe I am missing it, but I don’t see Woodley on there? I know its not a big number this year.

  • dave

    So, we theoretically have about $15 mil in cap space to re-sign Ike Taylor, LaMarr Woodley, Willie Colon, plus “depth” guys like Jonathan Scott, Bronco Legursky, etc, etc…plus a punter and kicker, PLUS the 2011 draft class… Again, forget out signing expensive “big name” free agents from another team. It’s not happening.

    With the way the CBA negotiations are going, there might not be any free agency until after the draft anyway.

    Keep up the good work, this is the kind of detailed information that makes this site great.

  • Dave Bryan

    Jesse, Woodley is not currently under contract right now. He likely will be tagged any day now, but currently is a free agent.

  • dave


    What would be interesting to see is another column on that chart that would show how much we would save by cutting the player. It’s not always quite as simple as subtracting the “base salary” from the “cap charge” if the player has multiple years left on the contract.

  • Tim Gleason

    Where is Doug Legursky? Is his contract finished?

  • Dave Bryan

    Legursky is an exclusive rights free agent.

  • i think the Steelers will cut Adams, redue Aaron Smith’s contract, cut Randle el, Arnez Battle, and reup on Troy and Woodley. Plus cut some playeers that we dont know of.

  • Thomascohen

    I think the Steelers cut Adams, Smith (yes it will hurt), Foote (too much for a back up), Randle El, Sweed (who cares), either Battle or Allen (can’t afford the luxury for 2 st players @ $1M+ each), Re-do the contracts for Woodley, Timmons, sign Colon, a 2nd tier CB (Ike goes to AZ), sign rookies and role players (OT, TE, etc.)

  • If the Steelers could sign Woodley to a long term deal and get his cap hit down to around 4 or 5 million that would go a long in helping their cap situation. Starks accounts for a huge cap hit, but I don’t think he will be cut or restructured. Names I think we could see cut soon are: Randle El, Battle, Foote, Adams, and Smith. I really would hate to see Smith get cut, but I think the Steelers either have to cut either he or Keisel, and I think age and recent injury concerns will make Smith the cap casualty.

  • KV

    The reality is that while I like Smith, we’ve been getting by without him for a couple years now. Time to repurpose that money for CB and OL.

  • KV

    I would either cut Smith or redo his contract, redo Miller’s contract (way too high for his contributions), redo Woodley’s contract to make it a long-term deal, cut Battle and Sweed (both stink), cut Foote ($3mm for backup, are you kidding me?), cut Adams. That should clear up about $15mm right there.

  • Patriots Cheat

    Release Arnaz Battle, release Limas “Bust” Sweed, release Aaron Smith (if possible, see if he’ll restructure), release Larry Foote and try having Keisel restructure his deal.

  • Joe D

    Release Sweed….
    Aaron Smith needs to be cut to $1mil… he is and should be a backup… if he won’t accept it, cut him. It has been hurt the last 2 years and collecting a huge salary… time for him to give back.
    Woodley needs to be signed to a long term deal… that may save 3mil/yr.

  • The Steelers aren’t going to cut Smith. This is the last year on his contract, at which point he will most likely retire, or if he still feels the itch, play on the cheap as a back up to Hood.

    I understand the logic to cutting him, but loyalty has value too. If vets don’t feel like the team is just as committed to the players, as the players are to the team, then bye-bye “home town” discounts. This either raises the price of keeping our veteran players, which means retaining fewer of them, or they go play for the highest bidder. Also, you wouldn’t see guys like Harrison, Miller, and Keisel working with the team to restructure their contracts, because they wouldn’t have confidence that they would be around long enough to collect.

    The long term benefits of letting Smith play out his final season at his contract rate, outweighs any short term benefit to cutting him, or forcing him to take a pay cut.

  • Donthave

    So how bad are we looking for next year?

  • You are missing Tony Hills on the list.He is maing 1.2M so that is the 1 M you are missing

  • SteelersDepot

    Ah……….. yes. Thanks

  • Quarter_nelson

    My question is what happens once the season starts. My understanding is that at that point all 53 players, anyone on IR and the 8 practice squad players are counted against the cap. That would be at least $750k for players 52 and 53 – not sure what the minimum is for practice squad but say it is $10k for 17 weeks. Does this mean that instead of having $2.4 million available there is really only $290 k available to play with?

  • Worldtrip

    A few things. I don’t think Will Allen is a 22 year old rookie, nor is Jonathon Scott 24 and in his 2nd year. And how is Chris Hoke, Greg Warren, and Trai Essex base salary higher than his salary cap hit?

  • SteelersDepot

    Transposed some columns. With the 1 year vets like those mentioned you get a cap savings. This has been in place for years to promote teams signing veterans.

  • Quarter_nelson

    Anyone know the answer to my question?

  • NW86

    I don’t believe the PS players count against the cap. You are correct that players 52 & 53, and players on IR count.

  • Josh Melton

    I had a question. As we all know we have a pretty old group of players. Also a lot of older players we have given long term expensive contracts to over the last 2 years. My question is what happens if lets say we have a rough year and go 6-10 or whatever. We pretty much prove that we are indeed old and slow. Next offseason we want to “clean house” and get rid of some old players like Farrior, Harrison etc…But if these players and others have mult year left on there contract are the steelers responsible for the entire contract? I guess what i mean is if we lets say release 6 old players who are under contract in 2012 and beyond we would be still paying those 6 players and getting a huge cap hit on those players. Overall about 30% of our cap hit will be players that arent even on are team? Im not sure how that works. Does it work out if we release players that still have years on there contract we just owe real money? and no cap charge? If not then we are basically “married” to these guys weather we want them or not because there will be too big of cap hit on these “old” players to get rid of them.