The details of the five-year, $26.3 million contract that former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis signed with the New Orleans Saints on Thursday are starting to emerge.
Lewis reportedly received a $6 million signing bonus and his 2013 base salary is $1 million. If those numbers hold true, Lewis will have a 2013 cap hit of $2.2 million.
The base salary of Lewis in 2014 seems likely to be $3.5 million, which would put his cap number that year at roughly $4.7 million.
It sounds as if the Saints guaranteed the first two years and of course this signing bonus. That is not surprising.
So could the Steelers have afforded to give Lewis that same deal? In a word, yes. It would have only used roughly another $1.72 million in cap space after displacement. Even less if they cut cornerback Justin King and his $715,000 salary.