Some good news to pass along on the eve of the 2012 free agency period as Adam Schefter is reporting on ESPN that the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with 27 other NFL teams, should receive an extra $1.6 million in 2012 salary cap space thanks to the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins being docked $10 million and $36 million respectively in 2012 cap space because they front-loaded contracts during the uncapped 2010 season.
According to Schefter, the Cowboys and Redskins took immediate cap hits during the 2010 season that normally would have been spread out over the length of the contracts which gave them an advantage that other NFL owners found unfair. This also helps explain why it took so long for the league to release the 2012 cap number as the league was trying to decide how to handle the violation.
The extra $1.6 million in cap space might not sound like a lot, but it is to the Steelers, who entered Monday only $10.5 million under their personnel cap number of $121,106,000.00 million that includes $506,000 of cap space left over from 2011 that they were allowed to bring forward. The Steelers announced on Monday that they have tendered six of their seven restricted free agents, as was expected, and that should mean that their rule of 51 number sits in the neighborhood of $117,842,182.00 million. If you add on the $1.6 million that Schefter reports the Steelers will receive this year, that should mean the Steelers are currently roughly $4,863,818.00 million under the cap heading into Tuesday.
So thanks to the indiscretions of the Cowboys and Redskins, the Steelers have a little extra money to go free agency bargain shopping with. It also provides a little more room to get a new deal done with Mike Wallace over the next 24 hours as well.