The 2012 NFL draft is in the rear view mirror now and the Pittsburgh Steelers nine draft picks will translate into a $5.13 million 2012 rookie pool number that the team will work with to get all of their rookies signed within. The total value of the contracts for the rookies can\’t exceed $28.25 million. All draft picks selected must be signed to four-year contracts, while first round round draft pick David DeCastro will be signed to a four-year deal that will include a 5th year club option. Undrafted players signed will have three years contracts.
The rookie pool is just that, a pool of money that the Steelers have to sign their rookies. It is a cap within a cap so to speak, but it doesn\’t have a dollar for dollar correlation to the Steelers overall salary cap because of how the Rule of 51 works. All nine of the Steelers draft picks should have a 2012 base salary of $390,000, so only the 2012 pro rated signing bonus monies of each will get included into the rule of 51 number.
The Steelers 2011 first round draft pick Cameron Heyward signed a four-year, $6.7 million contract last year and the deal included a $3.37 million signing bonus. He also was the 30th overall pick in the draft. DeCastro was the 24th overall pick this year and his contract should come in slightly higher than that of the New Orleans Saints 2011 24th overall draft pick Cameron Jordan. Jordan signed a four-year, $7.73 million contract and the deal included a $4.12 million signing bonus. So the total of the DeCastro deal will likely come in at about $8 million or so and carry roughly a $1.5 or so cap hit with it.