We already know to expect a flat salary cap in 2014, but opinions seem to be mixed about what it will be in 2015 when the new television deal money starts kicking in. Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II seems to think the next few years that the salary cap will not increase very much when he talked to the Pittsburgh media about the tough decisions the team has had to make recently that led to the release of linebacker James Harrison and guard Willie Colon.
"Every year you have to make decisions like that. You obviously have to look ahead to what the implications are going to be in years beyond this," Rooney said, via a report in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It\'s a multi-year kind of decision process, but it\'s going to be an ongoing process. We\'re in this system, the salary cap system, and the current projections are the cap is not going to be increasing in any dramatic fashion over the next couple of years. I think we\'re in that world where we have to live with these kinds of decisions every year."
In 2012 the salary cap was $120.6 million. This year it increased to $123 million. How flat will it remain in 2014? Some think it might come in at $125 million, but that is merely speculation. In 2015 it very well could wind up still being below $130 million.
The release of Harrison and Colon has already lightened the load in 2014 by $12.39 million. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey are both candidates for contract extensions next off-season which will also result in 2014 cap savings. While many will continue to claim the sky is falling and that salary cap hell is even closer, that is the farthest thing from the truth.
The team did have to restructure four contracts this off-season and that produced an additional $12,901,250 of proration cap liability into 2014. So basically the release of Colon and Harrison offset the restructures as far as next year goes.
Rooney talked Thursday about how the salary cap is like a jigsaw puzzle every off-season.
"You\'ve got to have players with contracts that fit within the whole system, fit within the cap," Rooney said.
As long as the Steelers don\'t lose one of their high priced corner puzzle pieces to injury or poor performance moving forward, that puzzle should get a little easier to put together, even though the room that they have to put it together in will not grow much.