Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday that a source with knowledge told him that the 2013 NFL salary cap number could come in at $123 million or higher. That is great news if you are a Pittsburgh Steelers fan as this number has slowly been inching up over the course of the last several weeks.
It was also reported on Tuesday that the Steelers restructured the contract of Lawrence Timmons to free up roughly $5 million in cap space. With that restructure out of the way now, I will give you a quick update as to where the team currently is at in their Rule of 51 number as it relates to a $123 million cap number. This won\'t be exact until we know the full amount of the Timmons restructure, but the max that they could have saved is $5.37 million, so this will be close.
Assuming the Timmons restructure cleared exactly $5 million in cap space, that would put the Rule of 51 number right around $130,902,456 million, or in other words, $7,902,456 million over a cap number of $123 million.
The Steelers reportedly have a $1.4 million cap credit due them in 2013, of which $758,000 is carryover from unused cap space from the 2012 season. That credit, based on a $123 million salary cap number, puts the team roughly $6,502,456 million over the cap. That\'s where we are at right now.
The Steelers still have to tender their restricted free agents prior to the start of the new league year, however, and they will need another $4.59 million after displacement should they low tender Emmanuel Sanders, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, Steve McLendon and Stevenson Sylvester, like I expect them to do.
Working those projected tenders in, that puts the Steelers $11,092,456 million over a cap number of $123 million. Quite a bit of meat on the bone as you can see.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to have his contract restructured any day now and that will save the Steelers a maximum of $7,173,334 million. If we were to project that full amount into our running total that would put the team $3,919,122 million over with two players restructured and five restricted free agent players low tendered.
Should the Steelers fully restructure the contracts of linebacker LaMarr Woodley and wide receiver Antonio Brown, like I expect them to do, that will clear another $9,309,750 million in cap space and put the team roughly $5,390,628 million under the cap.
They Steelers also need another $220,000 after displacement when they tender their exclusive rights free agents, Baron Batch and DeMarcus Van Dyke, so that puts them roughly at $5,170,628 million under a $123 million cap number.
The above work at least gets the team under the cap, but they will need more room if they are going to sign a few of their own unrestricted free agents such as Keenan Lewis and Larry Foote for starters. They also appear to be very interested in free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston in addition. Unless they have more restructures planned other than the four that I outlined above, they will need to terminate a few contracts or ask a few players to take cuts to their salaries. This is where the status of linebacker James Harrison pops back into the talk.
Should the Steelers release Harrison outright they will clear another $5.105 million in cap space prior to displacement. According to a report on Monday, the Steelers met with Harrison\'s agent Bill Parise in Indianapolis at the NFL combine and the two sides are expected to meet again over the course of the next two weeks.
I hope that clears the Steelers current salary cap situation up for you heading into Wednesday and keep your fingers crossed that the $123 million amount ends up indeed being the number.