Steelers 2012 Salary Cap & Total Players Under Contract


Now that the cuts have been made, I finally got around to crunching the complete numbers of the players under contract in 2012 and have compiled the dead money that will push forward next year so we now have a starting point for the Steelers 2012 salary cap situation. During my first glance that I mentioned a week ago, I projected the starting point to be around $135 million. After double checking the numbers and fixing two errors I had, I now have that number at a little over $129 million. This number includes roster bonuses due to LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Casey Hampton, Chris Kemoeatu, Maurkice Pouncey, Rashard Mendenhall, Ziggy Hood and Marcus Gilbert as there is no reason to think that they will not get them at this point.

You can see that there is nearly $2.5 million in dead money that will be charged towards 2012 as well and only 36 players under contract right now for 2012 in addition. It should be noted per my post last week, that this number also does not include the projected $10 million franchise tag for Troy Polamalu, should an extension not be worked out by then. It also does not include the high tender that Mike Wallace is likely to receive, nor does it include any other tenders that may be made to the other few restricted free agents the Steelers will have. Right now I think Wallace, Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky, Keenan Lewis, David Johnson and Ryan Mundy will be restricted free agents, while Isaac Redman and Steve McLendon should be exclusive rights free agents. I need to double check these though, but it sounds right.

I final reminder is that none of this includes the 2012 draft class either which will likely add another $5 million in cap charges or so.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the expected 2012 salary cap is expected to be around $125 million and that includes the $1.5 million total, three player credits the Steelers will surely use again. Should they not use them, it drops the cap number to $123.5 million. Remember that number is a projected number that many people I have talked to project it to be. You can clearly see now the cap hell I was referring to in my previous post. The Steelers will have to make some key cuts which I expect most to come on the defensive side of the ball. They also will be in no shape to make a run at any high profile free agents, not that they would anyway. They also need to think about extending players like Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown or Mendenhall as well as all three will be entering their final year under contract.

Feel free to ask any questions below and this post will serve as the master 2012 salary cap page going forward and will be updated along the way. You might want to bookmark it for easy reference.

If you are looking for the current 2011 salary cap page just follow the link.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND ABOVE COMMENTARY WAS POSTED SEPTEMBER OF 2011. Lots of things have changed since the time this original post went up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATED 2/8/2012 The latest update reflects the restructure of LaMarr Woodley which you can read here and the release of Bryant McFadden, Arnaz Battle, Erik Clanton and Miguel Chavis. I have not yet added the futures contracts yet as they do not go into effect until the new league year starts in March.

UPDATED 2/9/2012 The latest update reflects the restructure of Lawrence Timmons that was announced on Thursday.

UPDATED 2/10/2012 The latest update reflects the restructure of Ike Taylor that was announced on Friday.

UPDATED 2/14/2012 The latest update reflects the 19 players signed to future contracts, the expected restricted tenders to 6 of the Steelers restricted free agents and the 3 players that are exclusive rights free agents. Based on all my projections right now, I have the rule of 51 number at $137,578,703.00 or about $12 million basically over the cap. Keep in mind the Steelers have a $500K credit from unused cap space from 2011.

UPDATED 2/21/2012 The latest update reflects the restructure of Willie Colon that saved $2.85 million in 2012 cap money. The new projected Rule of 51 number is right at about $135 million and this projects the expected tenders in that of which Wallace is projected to get only a first round tender and not the franchise tag.

UPDATED 2/23/2012 The latest update includes the restructured contract of Ben Roethlisberger and brings the rule of 51 number down to $126,992,038.00. When you factor in the credits they have, the Steelers are essentially cap complaint now as my totals reflect the supposed tenders the restricted free agents will get.

UPDATED 3/1/2012 The latest update includes the release of Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Chris Kemoeatu. The Rule of 51 number below in the table below is $120,277,182.00 and that number includes the projected tenders to the restricted free agents which have not been made yet. The Rule of 51 number as it stands at this very moment is $113,185,182.00 and that of course does not include the restricted tenders. There still is no official word of what the 2012 salary cap number will be. I have been working under the $125 million number, but there are some rumblings it could come in lower than that. I should know that number any day now.

UPDATED 3/2/2012 The latest update includes the release of James Farrior. The Steelers Rule of 51 number now sits at around $111,140,182.00 with only the exclusive rights free agents tendered. The Rule of 51 number I have at the bottom of the table below, which is $117,842,182.00, includes the projected restricted free agent tenders.

UPDATED 3/15/2012 The latest update includes the pay cut restructure of Casey Hampton and I currently have the Steelers rule of 51 number at $114,577,182.00 and that of course includes all of the restricted tenders. The Steelers personal cap number figures to be around $122,706,000.00 and that includes the $506,000 carry over from 2011 and the $1.6 million in extra cap space dolled out due the Redskins and Cowboys uncapped year punishment. That makes the Steelers ABOUT $8,128,818.00 at most under the cap.

UPDATED 5/10/2012 The latest update includes all roster adds and signings except for David DeCastro and Sean Spence. There are a few signing bonuses of a few undrafted free agents that have yet to be accounted for, but those will not total out to be much of anything. I currently have the Steelers rule of 51 number at $116,559,388.00 and that of course includes the unsigned restricted tender of Mike Wallace. The Steelers personal cap number figures to be around $122,706,000.00 and that includes the $506,000 carry over from 2011 and the $1.6 million in extra cap space dolled out due the Redskins and Cowboys uncapped year punishment. That makes the Steelers ABOUT $5,971,612 or so under the cap with 7 of the 9 draft picks accounted for.

UPDATED 7/19/2012 The latest update includes all roster adds and signings including Max Starks. It also includes the signing bonuses for the undrafted free agents that I finally got around to adding. As I mentioned recently, the Steelers estimated cap number is $121,195,000, not the $122,706,000.00 that I had previously listed. I currently have the rule of 51 number right around $116,818,626.00, which would put the Steelers $4,376,374.00 under the cap. I believe that number is off by about $400,000, so realistically I think the true number is right around $3,900,000 under the cap. Keep in mind that I still believe that the Steelers have three $1.5 veteran cap credits yet to use, so if so, that means around $5,400,000 in cap space available with DeCastro yet to be signed.

Steelers 2012 Players Under Contract Salary Cap

James HarrisonLB$5,565,000.00$9,030,000.00
Ben RoethlisbergerQB$900,000.00$8,895,000.00
Troy PolamaluS$6,250,000.00$8,887,500.00
Heath MillerTE$4,274,000.00$7,070,500.00
Casey HamptonNT$2,800,000.00$4,966,668.00
LaMarr WoodleyLB$700,000.00$4,940,000.00
Brett KeiselDE$2,825,000.00$4,500,000.00
Ike TaylorCB$825,000.00$4,279,166.00
Ryan ClarkS$3,000,000.00$4,250,000.00
Lawrence TimmonsLB$700,000.00$3,985,000.00
Larry FooteLB$3,000,000.00$3,600,000.00
Rashard MendenhallRB$2,077,500.00$3,427,500.00
Willie ColonT$700,000.00$2,850,000.00
Antonio BrownWR$540,000.00$2,264,359.00
Maurkice PounceyC$666,125.00$2,166,750.00
Ziggy HoodDE$615,000.00$1,728,535.00
Shaun SuishamK$1,350,000.00$1,687,500.00
Will AllenS$1,280,000.00$1,605,000.00
Cameron HeywardDE$679,774.00$1,523,870.00
Jerricho CotcheryWR$1,00,000.00$1,500,000.00
David DeCastroG$390,000.00$1,420,709.00
Mike WallaceWR$2,742,000.00$2,742,000.00
Ramon FosterG$1,260,000.00$1,260,000.00
David JohnsonTE$1,260,000.00$1,260,000.00
Doug LegurskyG$1,260,000.00$1,260,000.00
Keenan LewisCB$1,260,000.00$1,260,000.00
Ryan MundyS$1,260,000.00$1,260,000.00
Greg WarrenLS$825,000.00$925,000.00
Jason WorildsLB$540,000.00$895,000.00
Emmanuel SandersWR$540,000.00$735,357.00
Marcus GilbertT$465,000.00$733,503.00
Mike AdamsT$390,000.00$642,500.00
Charlie BatchQB$925,000.00$605,000.00
Byron LeftwichQB$925,000.00$605,000.00
Max StarksT$825,000.00$605,000.00
Curtis BrownCB$465,000.00$595,300.00
Stevenson SylvesterLB$540,000.00$578,854.00
Jonathan DwyerRB$540,000.00$565,948.00
Leonard PopeTE$700,000.00$565,000.00
Cortez AllenCB$465,000.00$562,875.00
Brandon JohnsonLB$825,000.00$540,000.00
Steve McLendonNT$540,000.00$540,000.00
Isaac RedmanRB$540,000.00$540,000.00
Al WoodsDE$540,000.00$540,000.00
Sean SpenceLB$390,000.00$526,325.00
Chris CarterLB$465,000.00$505,700.00
Alameda Ta\’amuNT$390,000.00$498,328.00
Baron BatchRB$465,000.00$476,628.00
Weslye SaundersTE$465,000.00$466,333.00
DeMarcus Van DykeCB$465,000.00$465,000.00
Chris RaineyRB$390,000.00$435,413.00
Kelvin BeachumG$390,000.00$401,474.00
David PaulsonTE$390,000.00$401,474.00
Drew ButlerP$390,000.00$391,667.00
Robert GoldenS$390,000.00$391,667.00
Adrian RobinsonLB$390,000.00$391,667.00
Will JohnsonTE$390,000.00$390,000.00



Chris KemoeatuG$0$2,869,334.00
Max StarksT$0$2,000,000.00
James FarriorLB$0$1,000,000.00
Hines WardWR$0$1,220,000.00
Aaron SmithDE$0$875,000.00
Jonathan ScottT$0$500,000.00
Arnaz BattleWR$0$325,000.00
Antwaan Randle ElWR$0$300,000.00
Bryant McFaddenCB$0166,668.00
Keith WilliamsG$0$68,250.00
Trai EssexT$0$65,000.00
Chris ScottG/T$0$46,686.00
Crezdon ButlerCB$0$39,724.00
Toney ClemonsWR$0$12,456.00
Terrence FrederickCB$0$11,474.00
Mario HarveyLB$0$6,667.00
John ClayRB$0$6,667.00
Anthony GrayDT$0$5,334.00
Terrence McCraeWR$0$4,000.00
Trevis TurnerT$0$4,000.00
Niles BrinkleyCB$0$3,334.00
Miguel ChavisTE$0$2,667.00
Grant ResselK$0$2,500.00
Vaughn CharltonTE$0$2,000.00
Brett GreenwoodS$0$2,000.00
Terry CarterCB$0$1,667.00
Ikponmwosa IgbinosunDE$0$1,667.00
Ryan LeeG$0$1,667.00
Brandon LindseyLB$0$1,667.00
Marquis MazeWR$0$1,667.00
Erik ClantonLB$0$1,334.00
Eric GreenwoodWR$0$1,334.00
Colin MillerC$0$1,334.00
Adam MimsWR$0$1,334.00
Armand RobinsonWR$0$1,334.00
Jake StollerDE$0$1,334.00
Connor DixonWR$0$833.00
Aaron BatesP$0$667.00
Ty BoyleDE$0$667.00
Derek ChardLS$0$667.00
Chris DiekerQB$0$667.00
Josh HarrisonT$0$667.00
TOTAL DEAD MONEY~$0.00$9,464,002.00
TOTAL 2012 CAP~N/A $119,695,338.00
TOTAL 2012~$65,139,399.00119,695,338.00

  • Daddeeekip

    IMHO l feel the cap will be significantly will be higher, If l am not mistaken the NFL has a new TV contract next year that will raise the Salary Cap.

  • Emil

    So who do you think is most likely to get cut?

    McFadden, Foote and Farrior?

  • Beerman

    I have faith they will figure out a way to not make a mess. For instance, start by cutting a backup LB in Foote for 3.6, a marginal guard in Keomatu at the overpaid 5.26 cap, and then the salary exemption of 1.5 – there’s almost 10 mil right there.

    Until next year though, just enjoy this year and hopefully another great run. Thanks for all you do on Steelers Depot and the PODCASTS !

  • Who_Me?

    khan will take care of the numbers.

  • broken cleat

    aaron smith is not on the list

  • Lantz48

    the cap will be higher than 125 million, look for it to be 130 to 133. also beerman you take the actual salary not the cap number when doing the math. the difference is dead money and counts against the cap.

  • Joe D

    Good stuff… love this site… just came across it not too long ago.

    Looks like Steelers are over CAP already… lol
    Ward and Farrior need to retire after 2011 season… Time for the youth movement to take over.

  • Joe D

    I forgot to count… that is ONLY 36 players…
    Steelers are WAY over CAP as you need to add salaries for 17 more players…
    Troy, etc… they are probably at $160million… so, by my estimates, they will need to trim about 35 million. That can’t be done without CUTS… major cuts in personnel or pay!!!

  • Austin Jackson

    BMac, easy.
    Foote is primed to step in if Sly isn’t ready when Potsie retires. We have Lewis, Brown, and Allen behind BMac, and not far. They are a cheaper and perhaps better alternative.

  • SteelersDepot

    He is not under contract for next year.

  • Hines Ward … savings 4,000,000
    Larry Foote … savings 3,000,000
    Bryant McFadden … savings 2,500,000

    Chris Kemoeatu? 3,500,000
    Will Allen? 1,300,000
    Arnaz Battle? 1,000,000

    Joe D,
    Many of those 17 players will have contracts near the league minimum. 160 million is way off.

  • Intropy

    It’s hard to say without knowing what dead money applies to each player. But Foote, McFadden, Warren, Battle, Kemoeatu, Battle, and Will Allen seem most likely to me. Ward, Farrior, and Jonathan Scott may be looking at pay cuts, and Kemoeatu may fit in this bucket as well.

    Is the dead money just the difference between cap figure and base?

  • Joe D

    2012… $5million
    Troy P.. $10 million
    Wallace… $5 million
    Foster, Legarsky, Lewis, Johnson, Mundy, Redman, Mclendon.. $10million

    Thats $30million right there.. I estimated $35million for the 17 players..
    Also add to your list… Farrior and Hampton as possible cuts.

  • Joe D

    btw James… my 160 million is taking the existing list above of 36 players and adding $30million for 17 players….

    Means many senior players will either get CUT…. or significant cut in pay to make a 125 CAP. Your list is a start.. add Farrior… and Hampton.

  • Joed32

    The new ESPN contract just signed should increase the cap by about 13 Mil per team just by itself.

  • SteelersDepot

    That does not start until 2014. See Peter King tweet.!/SI_PeterKing/status/111795353606553601

  • SteelersDepot

    Does not kick in until 2014. Until then the cap number will remain flat.

  • Dave

    It’s not quite that easy to figure. You have to know his signing bonus and the length of the contract.

    If you give a guy a $20 mil signing bonus on a 5 year deal, that counts as $4 mil a year toward the cap. Plus the guy’s salary. If, theoretically, you cut him after year 1 of the deal, you’d have to “eat” $16 mil of dead money. That’s a simple example.

  • #1 Steeler fan

    Where is Aaron Smith on your chart?

  • SteelersDepot

    Thought I answered that once. He is not under contract next year. 2011 final year under contract.

  • Joed32

    So it won’t go up at all for next year?

  • NW86

    Thanks for showing us the numbers you have, it’s always hard to find salary cap info out there.

    Things look pretty bleak right now for 2012 – it seems the team will have a whole different look. But then again, we thought that this year, and they managed to finagle things around and get everyone re-signed. I certainly hope they don’t lose too many of the vets!

  • ac

    if chris k got a 6 million dollar bonus on a 5 year contract, would his cap hit be around 4.7 million (1.2 million difference than his regular salary?

  • SteelersDepot

    Kemo has a $250K roster bonus in 2012 and also had his contract restructured during camp that turned base into more signing bonus. My numbers on him are 100% correct.

  • Ricardisimo

    The largest dollar amount there – Starks – is no longer dead money, obviously. Any updates on the total figures?

  • SteelersDepot

    Starks dead money is still dead. That does not go away just because he was re-signed.

  • Tim G

    An article last week in the Trib had ASmith listed as “notables entering their final contract year.” Don’t know who is right or what’s what, but it’s worth pointing out.

  • Reston Steeler Fan

    Looks like Aaron Smith is on the updated version??

  • Bartung21

    If you cut Foote, Kemo, smith – thats an easy 11.7M Then restructure the rest as the cap in 2014 is projected to be 50% mor based upon the new TV deals


    Cut the bad kicker to minimum, he shouldn’t make more than Antonio Brown. I hate to see Smith leave, getting rid of Hampton saves more money. Why can’t Hines play special teams to stay?

  • Heathicus

    Give Hampton and Ward vet minimum. Ward will be 5th WR at best and Hampton is coming off of an ACL injury and might not even be ready until mid season. If they don’t want that ,then cut them.

    Cut Kemo and Smith. Keep Foote though – he’s more valuable than Farrior at this point and should be starting opposite Timmons, unless Sylvester can step in.

  • secondhole

    I saw on another site that breaks down current contract info that Ben’s 2012 salary cap hit is $11,670,000. Any idea where they’re getting that number?

  • SteelersDepot

    no idea, but his cap hit is currently $16.92. you can believe me or you can believe that other other site.

  • secondhole

    OK, thanks for that advice……..the site is, it appears you are both fairly close on other players cap hit, just wondering why the huge disparity on Ben…..was Ben’s contract restructured last year, also? Anyway thought it was a fair question, maybe not……………..

  • secondhole

    FYI – After e-mailing that other site, they have corrected Ben’s 2012 salary info……I should have never doubted you……….

  • PSUnGA

    I think Bens contract was restructured last year.

  • Mike

    I see that you have Mendenhall with a $2M+ base. Is that due to a roster bonus or a restructure? Also, do you think a number like this make it easier to release him considering he is in the last year of his contract and probably not back in time.

  • SteelerNationVA

    OK – with all of these restructured deals, what does 2013 look like? Will we be in cap hell again?

  • Steely
  • SteelersDepot

    The base above is correct. The numbers you point to was a BAD guess by me based on initial info by Clayton. I never went back and updated the real numbers.

  • How about an extra column for cap charge if cut in future editions?

    Or at least contract length so you can get an idea.

  • Dan

    Thank you for providing such a great site. I’m not sure why I spent the last 18 years of my internet life just checking the Trib and PG websites every night, when this is the most comprehensive site for Steeler news!

    Now, has there really been no talk of cutting Mendenhall? This should be the last year of his contract and based on last year’s production, I’d consider that an easy $2mil in cap savings. I’d be perfectly happy with Redman, Dwyer, Moore, Clay and who ever is the best rookie out of camp.

  • Busforever

    With Farrior, Kemo and Smith released, 18M under the cap for now… but 21 more players needed, and Wallace to sign.

    Let’s suppose they work on a good contract with Wallace, with a big signing bonus and a reasonable salary on the first year to accomodate with their cap. Let’s talk about 8M as Wallace’s cap number for 2012. Steelers will have 10M left, for 20 players.

    Last big cap numbers they can work with are James Harrison (8M), Polamalu (9M), Clark (4M) and Hampton (8M). Restructuring the first 3 would free up 7-8 millions i guess. I think they also could renegociate Keisel and clean 1,5M. It will be hard to keep some veteran (think about Cotchery). Simply signing the draft class would be a tough task.

    They could cut Hampton to free 5 more millions (considering the dead money). More manageable, but that would be another loss on the roster.

    And you know the bad news? Restructuring contracts makes the situation worst for the next years. Just in 2013, for now, total estimated salaries are at +/-106 millions. So approximatively 20M under the cap, with only 22 players on roster. If Wallace is resigned, you can talk about 10M with 23 players. Yeah, in 2013, 30 bodies will be needed to fill the 53 men roster with 10 millions in the bank…

    Big headache is coming

  • Heathicus

    Amen brother. I don’t even use other sites anymore. Just SteelersDepot.

  • Dan

    Wasn’t it not long ago that the Steelers were better than the other teams at cap management? When we avoided all the dead money and emergency restructuring and releasing that got so many other teams in trouble? Our risk of dead money in future years rises with each restructure. I feel like we’re just like everybody else now. Why why why? Did Mr. Khan assume he’d be somewhere else by now? Did the introduction of other owners change something in the decision making process? Maybe the values and rules are slipping with daddy in Ireland?

  • Bobamalu

    Anyone know the punishment if a team is over the salary cap?

  • Sean

    Is the extra 1.6 million from Cowboys/Redskins already factored into the 120.6 cap? I could be wrong, but I think this PFT article implies such:

  • Kraami627

    Love this site…..Does anyone else think Heath Miller makes too much money? Yes he is a great TE but at 7mil cap fig on a team with cap problems….I dont know I would think they would phase him out or ask for cut in pay…anyone think differently?

  • NW86

    Agreed, to a point. $7M is a lot for a TE on a team with cap problems. But one reason Heath’s number is so high this year is because he restructured in 2010 and again in 2011, to lower his cap hit those years, and that pushed more dead money into 2012.

    He’s actually on a $5.5-$6M/year contract, which is still on the high side, but hey, the guy is valuable, even when he’s not making catches.

  • PSUnGA

    Got Cotchery back on the cheap. I think he likes being a steeler.

  • Jprankster2005

    So we don’t have any money left now? I think another resturcture or release Scott and allen would help out a little………

  • Jprankster2005

    So are we around 5 million over the cap just curious? Because I was looking and it says 8 million over and u figure in Cotchery and Essex and Pope I would say around 2.5 for those players…… Is 5 mill about where we are sitting? Plus we got the 3 half million we can apply to veterans so that helps….. How much are u thinking we are under the cap right now dave….. I’m kinda confused up top there it says we are at 122 mill plus on top 51 and dead money that would mean we are right at the cap……

  • SteelersDepot

    Look at the Rule of 51 number. It is the number you go by.

  • PSUnGA

    I think there is about 7 million in cap room(?) But dont hold me to that

  • SteelerNationVA

    Always a great post. Can you add the 2013 impact or at least the exp date of the contract.


  • Jprankster2005

    So we got a good bit of money left…….. Almost 6 million, Plus u figure they will have another 2.2 when they cut Scott…….. Is that Cotchery’s contract numebers? Did he get 1 million bonus? And are those the official numbers for Batch and Leftwich? I just haven’t seen there numbers anywhere

  • SteelersDepot

    No. I just make these numbers up as I go along to get people to ask me if they are right because they have not seen them elsewhere.

  • Jprankster2005

    Lol ok Dave……. I love this site, I gotta say and i love the smart ass remarks lol……. No I was just saying I’ve looked up Leftwich,Cotchery and batch and they don’t say anthing about there contracts…… So that’s why I was asking if Cotchery was a 2 yr. deal 1 million signing bonus and 1 million base salary for both years……. Was Just curious……. And by the way pope got a 25,000 bonus u didn’t add…… Mr. Perfect lol….

  • SteelersDepot

    You must not be able to add. $540K plus $25K = $565K last time I checked.

  • Jprankster2005

    Yeah my math skills aren’t the best…… LOL

  • Bunyodbek

    Dear Dave,
    Please take a look at

    I think your numbers on Troy are wrong. His signing bonus was covered in the year 2011.

  • PSUnGA

    Are they figuring they can sign Mike Wallace longterm after everyone has signed?

  • SteelersDepot

    Please do not bother me with incorrect info. That site is riddled with errors yet everyone takes it as gospel. Polamalu numbers are right on my site as they came from the NFLPA.

  • Jprankster2005

    So does anyone know how much the cap will raise in 2014?