Steelers 2013 Salary Cap – Moving Forward Post Free Agency

The first few waves of free agency signings are currently in the books and the Pittsburgh Steelers have made just a few low profile moves like we expected that they would. With the draft now less than a month away, the team sits with just under $2.5 million worth of salary cap space to get them to June, when they will pick up about another $5 million after displacement from the release of guard Willie Colon.

We will now look at the cap space that will be needed by the Steelers moving forward and will assume that they will hold onto all eight of their current draft picks on draft day.

The Steelers estimated rookie pool number, following the addition of the sixth round compensatory pick that was awarded to them last week, is right around $5.1 million by my estimates. When you displace the eight lowest salaries in the current top 51, you will get a differential of roughly $1.5 million that they will need in cap space to get all eight draft picks under contract.

While most of the later round draft picks will be signed early on, I would expect the Steelers first and second round picks to remain unsigned until well past the beginning of June. Last year, second round draft pick Mike Adams signed in May, but his circumstance was a little different thanks to him testing positive for marijuana at the NFL combine.

So come June, what will they do with the extra cap space? It\’s doubtful that they will sign any big name free agents at that point, outside of perhaps Ahmad Bradshaw, but a little of it might be used via displacement should they choose to re-sign a few more of their own free agents who might be hanging around. We are only talking about a million at most that may be needed for that, and even that is a high projection.

The Steelers will most likely want to have $2 million or so to use during the season should they need to sign injury replacements. Whatever is left over, say around $3 million, can be used to accommodate a first-year cap hit increase of an extension or two during training camp, if that is indeed the way, they want to go.

Basically, from this point on, most of the hard work is done, and the Steelers are right where they need to be cap wise for the remaining business that lies ahead.

  • RW

    Who are prime candidates for extensions before the season starts?

  • steeltown

    My guess.. if they do extend anyone would be either McLendon, Dwyer or Sanders

    I guess theres a chance that a vet like Clark or Cotchery could also receive a 1-2yr extension.. players like Pouncey, Ben and Miller will also be up for extensions soon, but I dont see those happening in ’13 training camp

  • steeltown

    The recent Todd McShay mock draft has the Steelers taking Jarvis Jones and WR Woods in the 1st and 2nd respectively… my god, that would be awesome!

  • I would expect them to extend Hood if they can since Heyward is the only end on the roster that won’t be a free agent after this season.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Speaking of Ziggy & Heywood, future job security of those & Taamu here went up with each other position we lost this offseason. Lost Keenan means now adding CB into drafting on 1st day, Will Allen gone increased number of safeties gotta draft from 1 to probly 2 now, no replacement for Wallace yet, OLB high draftpick with Harrison gone. With so many draftneeds, no draftpick available to draft any D lineman to groom for next year.

  • steeltown

    Well, they’ll never stray to far from BPA (best player available) if the BPA is a DL then they’ll grab him, BUT I do agree with you for the most part, with Harrison, Wallace, Mendy and now Will Allen gone, I think those positions are of much more importance this year… i could see DL maybe in the 5th, 6th or 7th Rd

  • NW86

    Yep, agree with your first three names. Worilds could possibly be another – see if they can lock him up now at a modest amount, vs. waiting until next March and possibly having another K. Lewis situation where he has higher bidders elsewhere.

  • steeltown

    I personally agree with you about Worilds.. but something tells me they’ll take the wait and see approach with him, see if he stays healthy, see if he produces… problem is it might come back and bite them in the azz next offseason

  • I would be surprised if they draft a corner on the 1st day (round 1), but you never know how things will play out.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    I meant to add that I think it rules out 1st day for drafting DL. 2nd day could fit DL. I just think with so many other positions of high need for us on 1st day, odds are there’s gonna be a BPA at one of those nonDL positions available. When players of multiple positions are at equal BPA ranking on your board, teams draft the one of those which is a position of need.

  • steeltown

    True.. if they have a RB and DL at about the same grade, my guess is they would go with the RB as it is more of an immediate need

  • David Edward

    I generally agree with most of your posts, but this isn’t one of them. Jones isn’t in the top 17 on my draft board and @ 17 he has too many ? to take a chance on. The bad pro day really hurt him because it exposed some of his weaknesses. They can get better value at OLB later on.

    As for Woods, I could live with him @48 since he’s in my top 50, but I think there are better players on the board who could be there…particularly if 4 QBs are picked before 48.

  • steeltown

    IMO Jones will be gone before we even pick at #17.. too many Teams switching to a 3-4 this year that will scoop him up

    In my opinion Woods would be great value in the 2nd regarding WR’s, I fully expect all of the other top WR prospects to be gone by mid-late 2nd Rd.. in fact Woods could be gone as well

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Oh crap I forgot 1st day is only rd 1 & the entire draft is 3 days now not 2days. I meant the first approx 4 rounds is what I meant to lump together. I agree no CB with our top pick.

  • Dan

    I also have a sense that Jones will be gone by 17 (but I certainly didn’t expect DeCastro to be there at 24 last year). There’s too much good film on him. And I’ve been seeing more media on Woods lately, so I think he’ll climb a bit and probably less than 50% chance he’ll be there at 48, but it would be a great pick if he is. I do think we need to focus on defense at the top of this draft, but I can also see how if Warmack or Cooper are sitting there at 17…might be too good to pass up, even if we are feeling good about Foster and Beachum.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Gotta agree with Dave on this one. Too often we caught up in names and stats and splash play highlights.

    Jones was a FANTASTIC college LB. I personally believe he some major flaws that will get exposed at the next level. He ran a 4.92 forty, with only 20 bench reps, and a vertical of 30 inches. IMO, he will have serious problems beating NFL left tackles with that lack of explosion. Maybe TE’s or RB’s?

    I would rather take a beast like Lemonier or Collins and teach them technique.

  • steeltown

    You know who else had a slow 40time and only 19 reps on the bench press….. Suggs…. just sayin

    Its been said before, that you cant put to much on combine and workout numbers.. and that the tape never lies, he can get to the QB and thats what we need

    But still, Im not advocating for him, wouldnt care either way, personally Im excited to see what Worilds can do.. I just thought that Todd Mcshays mock was crazy

  • David Edward

    Personally, I hope Jones is gone before 17 because it will push another better player down to the Steelers. Considering that the Steeler scouts watched Jones have a poor workout in person, I’d be surprised if they have him in top 17 on their board. Steelton, how do you feel about WR Aaron Dobson from Marshall?

  • David Edward

    Lol…and Suggs still can’t cover anyone out of the backfield. Keep in mind LeBeau asks OLBs to drop back in coverage too, and I watched Harrison and Woodley get exposed when TEs and RBs beat them. Personally, I think the Steelers should look to grab more athletic OLBs

  • steeltown

    Suggs had a terrible showing as well, slow 40 and 19reps on the bench press, still went 10th overall.. im not comparing him to Suggs, but you cant always base your decision on combine and workout numbers.. most times the tape tells the tale

    I like Dobson, in fact he is exactly the kind of player we need, good route runner with good size

  • steeltown

    You forget we still had #1 pass defense two years running, its QB pressure we are lacking

    Look, Im not saying we ‘should’ or ‘will’ draft Jarvis Jones.. all Im implying is getting Jones in the 1st and Woods in the 2nd would be hellava way to start the draft.. hopefully help two areas of need

  • David Edward

    Now we’re on the same page…Steelers need WR with prototype size and speed. To me, Dobson would be a nice 3rd round pick if he’s still there. Most fans get a bit caught up watching highlight videos on YouTube and call that “watching tape”, and get excited. I think you and I go a bit deeper than that when scouting. I’m actually more interested in watching their mistakes, body movement, technique. I prefer not to watch what I call the “recruiting videos” because they’re designed to make the player look good

  • mlc43

    Not sold on Jones. I would prefer they just take a pass on him. Also, the Steelers will regret it if they don’t nab one of the top Safeties in this draft.

  • Jazz

    If Justin Hunter is still there @ #48, they have to pull the trigger.

  • Jazz

    If for some miracle Dion Jordan is there at #17, they have to take him.

  • David Edward

    Absolutely! But he won’t be, I like your thinking though. Also agree with you on the Justin Hunter comment too.