Categorized | 2012 Salary Cap, Article, News

Steelers Still In Good Shape Salary Cap Wise For 2012 Season


NFL.com is having a look at the salary cap situation of each and every team in the league and on Tuesday they posted about the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In the report they state that the Steelers adjusted cap number is $121.195 million. That number is derived by adding the $120,600,000 base 2012 salary cap figure to the $506,000 remaining cap space the Steelers had left over from 2011, which teams are allowed to roll over this year. There also appears to be an adjustment of around $89,000 which could be for various reasons such as a missed LTBE or something. I haven\'t fully tracked that one down just yet.

Where there still may be some confusion is with the extra money teams received via the salary cap penalty incurred by both the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. I initially thought this was added above and beyond the $120,600,000, but that seems not to be the case.

Adam Schefter reported back in March that 28 NFL teams would receive $1.6 million of additional cap space and that teams receiving money could also decide to split it over the 2012 and \'13 seasons. Shefter added in his piece that Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota and Tampa Bay chose not to take the additional room in 2012, and instead take it in 2013.

So judging by the above, it looks like the original base 2012 salary cap figure would have been $119 million and that $1.6 million brought it up to $120,600,000 for everyone except the five teams Schefter listed along with Dallas and Washington.

Now by numbers I currently have the Steelers at a $116,151,626 rule of 51 number, which would put them $4,643,374 under the $121.195 million adjusted cap number stated above. NFL.com states the Steelers are $3.734 million under the number, a difference of $909,374 from my number. I think I know where some of that money is that I missed, but haven\'t gotten around to verifying it. $25,000 or so of it is in signing bonuses given to the undrafted free agents I know. Regardless, I am pretty happy to be within $1 million of the number.

Now one other thing that should be noted is that I do not believe that the NFL.com numbers take into account the three $500K veteran salary cap credits that teams can use on players this year which is borrowed from future years. Last year it was three $1 million veteran cap credits and the Steelers did indeed use them. You can bet for sure that they will use the extra $1.5 million in credits this year as well. I do not think they have to designate those until just before week one of the regular season though. I am still trying to verify that as fact with a few agents that I have contact with.

Assuming the $1.5 million in credits are not yet accounted for in the NFL.com numbers, and I don\'t believe they are, that means the Steelers in essence have $5.234 million in cap space. Also keep in mind that the $2.742 million tender to Mike Wallace is accounted for in all of these numbers as is $390,000 for the still unsigned David DeCastro. When a player is drafted, the first year minimum base salary is accounted for until a player signs his contract.

DeCastro is expected to have a 2012 cap hit of around $1.6 million, so there will be a displacement increase of $1.21 million in the rule of 51 number. That would leave the Steelers with roughly $4.024 million in cap space.

So the next worry is if there will be enough cap space for Wallace and a new deal. Remember that he is already taking up $2.742 million now with his tender. That will be torn up if a new deal is reached, and I cant see the first year cap hit of his new deal being more than $5 million. If we use $5 million as his 2012 cap hit, that is a difference of only $2.258 million needed of the roughly $4.024 million in cap space available. That would leave the Steelers with roughly $1.766 million in cap space even including a high estimated $5 million first year cap hit on Wallace.

The bank of Jonathan Scott should also be considered as well, as he presents a cap savings of $2.2 million if released prior to the start of the season, which I believe he will be. That release coupled with a $5 million first year cap hit for Wallace would put the Steelers at roughly $3.966 million under the cap.

They will also need roughly another $1.5 million in cap space for their 52nd and 53rd players on the roster along with the practice squad, so that puts them back down to just under $2.5 million in cap space and right where they need to be entering the season.

I know all of the numbers are a bit confusing, but the long and short of it all is that the Steelers are perfectly fine from a salary cap standpoint as it relates to Wallace and the start of the season.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • chris dimarino

    Like the analysis, looks like we’re in good shape, but having a little saved away for injuries fixes would be nice. If/when Max Starks resigns, do you think it would be for the vet min? and How much of a hit is that again?

  • JayBirdDC

    What do you think is the maximum the Steelers could offer Wallace for the first year salary? 7 million?

  • fezic

    Though the Steelers are a little tight to the cap, it’s good to see they have some maneuverability. As I mentioned in a previous post, I would not at all be surprised to see the Steelers make some more moves this summer to re-sign some of their expected 2013 UFAs, specifically Keenan Lewis, Legursky, Mundy, David Johnson, and maybe even Ramon Foster. Heck, they could also restructure/reduce other contracts (Hampton? Replace Suisham with Hrapman? Extend Foote by 1 yr and reduce his salary this year?) to make a little more room if needed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPNFAX6KRZS3Q5VEXT5JUYLSIE daveg

    Too much money in sports. I think the IRS employer rules for sports teams versus everyone else, should be changed. It is a disgrace that unproven players and mediocre at best players earn far in excess of top quality surgeons and other individuals who do great things for mankind.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZJ5OOJI2JU7HMYNEFVIJHSJ3MI Steelers4evr

    Not really sure if this is good news? How will we afford the rookies that we want, let alone the cost for Wallace.

  • SteelersDepot

    Did you read the post?

  • SteelersDepot

    Did you read the post?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7ANSUFA5J3WFAFRLZ7G5TZANA4 Kevin

    Hampton took a pay cut of 2 million. What makes you think that he would take another one?

    What is the benefit to extending Foote, particularly since he makes 3 million this year?

    Why would the Steelers resign Ramon Foster and Legursky, when they are not even expected to start? It is usually a bad idea to sign backups to extensions, particularly when those guys are eminently replaceable.

    All of those guys who you mention should not be signed this year. The one that you may want to take a chance on (Keenan Lewis) has been a headcase in the past. He needs another year of proving his maturity.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7ANSUFA5J3WFAFRLZ7G5TZANA4 Kevin

    The rookies are all signed except DeCastro and he has a cap hold of the rookie minimum already counted.

  • fezic

    The current list of UFAs for 2013 (if they all make this year’s roster) is 16. Do you really think that the Steelers want to go into next season with that being the case? They have never been big players in bringing in other free agents, so it makes sense to try to sign some of these guys to a 2-3 year deal. Certainly some of them would accept a lower salary in 2012 for a larger guarantee over two years. I’m not saying they will sign all of these guys, but they are all 4th year players who have shown that they are depth contributors to the Steelers. Legursky is an important interior swing G/C, and Mundy provides good depth at safety with two aging starters. Lewis is a head case? Give me a break. When he starts beating up paper towel dispensers, you can put him in that category. Until then, I think that’s a little extreme.

  • Itisafineday

    Living more on the eastern side of PA I have always wonder how the Eagles were so good with their cap… and the Steelers on the other hand are, most years, fairly close to their limit. Sometimes, when reading different comments regarding cap space, I have seen people talk of how cheap the Eagles are… but their not. I have also heard, at times, on local radio talk from Eagle fans, that their team is cheap. But, then the announcer will correct that fan and tell them, in truth, that the team spends plenty of money most seasons. And, believe me, much of local sports talk radio are not big supporters of the current Eagles administration. Many/most of the sport radio announces are very glad Joe Banner is gone, and they wish Andy Reid would also go.

    Actually, the Eagles (opposite of the Steelers philosophy) have a tendency to prefer other teams players over their own. But, their team does spend money, and again, most seasons they seem to have plenty of cap space. When watching the Eagles (and usually rooting against them) I have thought their problems were mostly centered around the quarterback, and their head coach… not that they didn’t spend enough money. I was just wondering.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7ANSUFA5J3WFAFRLZ7G5TZANA4 Kevin

    If they sign them now, they will likely overpay.

    Also, Lewis has shown himself to be a headcase. It was not a paper towel dispenser but the guy punched out glass after a bad game. That is worse than beating up a towel dispenser and qualifies in my book as calling a guy a headcase.

    It is foolish to sign those guys when they will likely be available next year and the Steelers have limited cap space at least until 2014. All of those guys are replaceable.

If you enjoy our content & podcast, feel free to buy us a cup of coffee below.
Shop for 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Nike and New Era Team Gear at Fanatics

Archives