NFL Insider Jay Glazer reports Saturday night on Twitter that he is hearing that when the 2012 salary cap is set on Monday it\’ll be right around $120.6 million, which would make it $225,000 more than the 2011 cap number. Teams also should be able to roll over their remaining cap space from 2011 as well, but in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers that equates to just over an extra $500,000. So in essence the Steelers will be initially working with a cap number of roughly $121.1 million. The league is also allowing three, $500,000 credits in 2012 on three veteran players with 5 or more seasons that it is borrowed from future years, but I do not think that this is accounted for until the final cut down date when the rosters are set at 53 players. Last year there were three, $1 million credits which the Steelers took advantage of.
Hearing that when the league sets the salary cap on Monday it\’ll be right around $120.6 million
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 11, 2012
The Steelers are expected to announce their restricted free agent tenders on Monday or Tuesday and they are expected to total anywhere from $9.042 million to $10.376 million depending on the level that they decide to tender both Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster at. The Steelers current rule of 51 number heading into this weekend sits around $111.14 million according to my count, or roughly $10 million under the projected cap number of $121.1 million that I posted above. So if my numbers are correct, you can see that it is possible that a few more terminations or a restructure or two could be on the way Monday or Tuesday, especially if they decide to tender both Legursky and Foster at a second round level. The only restricted free agent not expected to be tendered is Jamon Meredith.
A few players that have long been candidates as possible terminations are Will Allen and Jonathan Scott. A few players who could be candidates for restructures would be Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Heath Miller, but I feel like those likely would have been done by now. Releasing Allen would free up $1.28 million of cap room minus displacement cost of another player that would bump up to the top 51 and a release of Scott would free up $2.2 million in cap space minus displacement cost. While it is not expected to happen according to Kevin Colbert, terminating the contract of Casey Hampton would free up $5.89 million in cap space. There is also the possibility of him reducing his 2012 base salary, but at this point I think that it is unlikely to take place and would have been done by now.
This past week has been pretty quiet news wise for the Steelers, but that all figures to change next week as the tenders are handed out and a few terminations could be announced. There also remains a slim chance that they could hammer out a new deal with Mike Wallace by the time free agency starts on the 13th. As usual I will keep you posted with the updated news as it breaks.