Report: Steelers Will Be Able To Carryover $758K Of Leftover Salary Cap Space To 2013

When the new CBA went into effect in 2011 it included a provision that stated teams had the ability to carryover unused cap space from one season to the next. Last season, for example, the Pittsburgh Steelers carried over just over $500K of unused cap space from the 2011 season to 2012.

John Clayton of reported on Tuesday that the Steelers ended the 2012 season with $758,000 in unused cap space so we can go ahead and assume that the team will take full advantage of the CBA provision and roll that amount over into 2013.

While there has been no official word yet from the league, the salary cap is speculated to remain flat once again in 2013. Several have projected that in 2013 that the number would come in at $120.9 million, which would be an increase of only $300,000 over 2012.

Should the projection of $120.9 million number hold true then the Steelers cap number in 2013 would be right around $121.658 million.

You can see the Steelers 2013 cap numbers for all players currently under contract here.

  • How long can they keep using the cap credits before it catches up to them, so to speak? They keep using the extra space but as you said, it has to be accounted for eventually.

  • SteelersDepot

    2013 is the final planned year of these credits per the CBA. In 2011 the Steelers used the (3) $1 million credits at their disposal & in 2012 they used the (3) $500K credits at their disposal. After using the (3) $250K credits in 2013 they will have borrowed $5.25 million total which reportedly can be divided up & stretched out over the course of 2014-2017.

  • Thanks! It is not as bad as I thought then if they are amortized.

  • steeltown

    very interesting

  • Jefferson_St_Joe


    In your salary cap analysis, you show the Steelers with $84M in base salaries due, $132M in cap charges, and $461K in dead money. In effect, isn’t the $48M difference between the base salaries and the cap charges dead money since it has already been paid and ammortized? Do you know what the normal ratio is for base salaries to cap charge for other decent franchises? I’m thinking that ratio is dangerously high and needs to start moving the other direction.

  • steeltown

    I understand the cause of dead money, but I have trouble figuring the amounts, year to year, lets say Harrison is not released this year, but in 2014 they think he’s done and cut him in the final year of his contract, what would the dead money total in 2015 be in that instance??

  • Cols714

    Of course not. The Steelers have managed their salary cap as well as any team in the league. They have never had to cut a bunch of players that they want to keep in order to get under the cap.

    Really, the amount of ink wasted on worrying about the Steelers salary cap is mind boggling.

    They always do what they need to get under the cap and keep the guys that they want to keep.

  • NW86

    I don’t have the exact numbers, but Harrison has something like $3.4M in prorated bonus money counting toward 2013, and $1.7M in 2014. If they cut him this year, the remaining money becomes “dead money” and all $5.1M (or so) counts against 2013’s cap. If they do it in 2014, only the remaining $1.7M becomes dead money against the 2014 cap.

  • NW86

    In effect yes, because the $48M represents money that was already paid to the players and just hasn’t been accounted for yet. But it’s not considered “dead” money unless the player isn’t on the team anymore.
    Good question about how it compares to other franchises – I don’t know the answer. I agree that it’s getting high, and that it is dangerous when you’re still accounting for old money. But I think to some extent, a lot of teams are dealing with this situation since the last CBA and the flat cap put them in a tight situation.

  • SteelersDepot

    Assuming everything staying status quot for Harrison, releasing him next offseason would result in a 1.465 million dead money charge in 2014. There would be no dead money charge in 2015.

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    right right, none in ’15… hmmm well thats not all that bad, just hoping he takes a ‘Hampton like’ straight paycut in 2013

  • They’ve also been toeing a fine line the past few years, which has burned many teams in the past. To dismiss cap concerns entirely is ,like burying your head in the sand.

  • Cols714

    Not at all. The Steelers have always been near the limit of the cap. Which is why we’ve been hearing this same story for the past decade. Oh noes the Steelers are over the cap next year.

    Then the Steelers sign the guys they want and let the guys they don’t want go and compete for a playoff spot. Every single year.

    I dismiss the concerns because it’s been the same seemingly forever. They are very good at managing their cap. I’ll worry about it if they ever actually have to cut a bunch of productive players that they want to keep. They haven’t and all evidence points to this year being the same.

  • JohnnyV1

    Wow, $758k! I don’t envy Omar Khan & Colbert having to do the salary cap shuffle every year.

  • Cols714

    Much better than the opposite problem of having a crappy team like the Browns and then having tons of cap room because your players aren’t very good.

  • JohnnyV1

    You can always find a person, or entity, that is worse off to make any situation appear better. There are also several quality teams in much better cap shape. Perhaps those teams should be in our view w/ an eye at raising the bar? Of course, $758k would buy us another Brandon Johnson, for a year.
    Subject: [steelersdepot] Re: Report: Steelers Will Be Able To Carryover $758K Of Leftover Salary Cap Space To 2013

  • All evidence points to this being the same? Harrison and Colon at least have their spots in jeopardy. You are making the mistake of confusing who they want to keep with them being historically so good at developing players that there is little dropoff. There are a lot of players that have left over the years in part due to cap reasons.

  • Mike Carroll

    Oops. Needed to correct my comment here. This is what I meant to write:

    I’ve asked Dave a similar question previously (how do the Steelers compare to other teams in regards to total salary cap charges already on the books for all future years?), but I suspect such future salary cap charge numbers for other teams are not readily available, since it’s tough enough to find accurate cap numbers for the current year. Fortunately Dave does a great job with the Steelers numbers.

    My own sense is that Steelers ratio is dangerously high as you suggest, and while other teams clearly defer cap charges, I think the Steelers have deferred more than most teams over the last several years (in their attempts to pull in one more SB).

  • Mike Carroll

    Agree completely. I would not just put blind faith in the Steelers always making the right move. As you say, they’ve toed the line here the last few years, attempting to grab one more SB with this team. Perhaps the team has some inside knowledge of how and when the cap will actually be raised. Everyone originally assumed it would jump dramatically in 2014 with the new TV deal. But, as I’ve already wrote on this site, John Clayton has since reported that it could be flat through the 2015 season. I’m not saying Clayton will be end up being correct, but I do respect him as a reporter and I’m definitely concerned the Steelers will have overplayed their hand if the cap remains flat that long.

  • Cols714

    Harrison is coming back. Colon might go, but it’s more because he isn’t worth what they are paying him than the salary cap. If Colon was performing up to his contract, I have no doubt the Steelers would find a way to keep him.

  • Mike Carroll

    Oops… replied to wrong person.

  • LucasY59

    Harrisons situation this year as well as the possibilty of losing some FA’s that they would like to bring back shows that they have been way too close/over the cap the last few years, all while hoping that eventually the cap will rise enough to cover all the restuctures and 2nd/3rd mortgages they keep using with players. It may come back at them this year when they could lose Lewis, Foster, Wallace because they cant afford to match/outbid other teams and may be in the same situation next year.

  • You are blind. You do realize they would have trouble matching any offers for their key FAs because they can’t offer the same guaranteed money other teams can, because of lack of Cap space, don’t you?

  • Cols714

    I realize this, but when have the Steelers ever lost a free agent that they wanted badly to keep? Maybe Chad Brown in the 1990s?

    When they lose a guy like William Gay or even Willie Colon this year, it’s not so much because they can’t pay him what they want, it’s that the Steelers value these guys less than what offers they get.

    Take the Willie Colon example. If he was playing up to his contract, don’t you think the Steelers would keep him? But since he’s been injured most of the last 3 years and not entirely great when he’s played, they might cut him.

    Same with Mike Wallace. I’m sure they’d love to keep him at their price, but if he’s asking for more than they are willing to pay, he’s probably gone.

    Yes, if there was no cap at all it’d be nice to keep every free agent that they have. However, there is a cap, and the Steelers do as well as any other team managing it.

  • Mike Carroll

    I would argue that the Steelers would like to cut Colon due to his lack of production, but they are less inclined to do so precisely because of all the money they have deferred previously in his contract. Cutting him will cause a $6.45M dead money cap hit this year as Dave has pointed out. But, the effective cap cost of keeping him the on the roster is only an additional $1.2M, which is not that much considering the potential production you might get out of Colon. The team may keep him for that reason.

    As for the Steelers salary cap management, Colon’s contract is a prime example where the Steelers pushed the envelope and are now paying a price. It was a mistake for the team to restructure his deal this past offseason (deferring more of his cap charges), in spite of the fact that he had missed virtually all of the prior two seasons with injuries (2010, 2011). If they had not deferred more money last year, it would be less damaging to cut him now.

  • Yep, you are right, nothing to see here. Nothing to worry about. Let’s all just keep the faith. You’ve convinced me.