2013 Steelers Salary Cap: $5.5 Million In Riches To Arrive Very Soon

In a few more days the Pittsburgh Steelers second OTA session of the 2013 season will be completed and the calendar will flip over to June. With the arrival of June comes the arrival of $5.5 million in additional salary cap space for the Steelers as the March release of guard Willie Colon will finally hit the ledger. So how will the Steelers spend their new found riches?

By the end of this week the Steelers could very well have seven of their nine draft picks under contract with only linebacker Jarvis Jones and running back Le\’Veon Bell left to sign. In total, the four remaining unsigned draft picks will only use up roughly $1.4 million in cap space thanks to displacement in the top 51, so essentially the Steelers will have a little more than $4 million to work with moving forward.

It has long been speculated that the Steelers will sign free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston once June gets here. Should that indeed happen, you would have to think that his deal would be for around the minimum.

Despite the decision to sign free agent tackle Guy Whimper a few weeks ago after reaching out unsuccessfully to Max Starks one last time, the Steelers really could still use another veteran tackle to compete in training camp. Unfortunately, unless former Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Winston drops his asking price by a couple of million, the addition of another tackle is unlikely to take place.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton currently remains unsigned and is probably pretty happy he isn\’t having to go through the OTA\’s this year. The Steelers should have a pretty good idea heading into their mandatory mini camp as to where their young nose tackles are at in their development and could sign Hampton back if they don\’t like what they see by then.

While $4 million might not sound like a lot, it will buy quite a bit this late in the offseason thanks to minimums and displacement. That being said, you get what you pay for and the scrap heap has been picked over pretty good by now.

The Steelers generally like to keep $2 million or so set aside headed into the regular season to have in case of emergency, so I suspect we could have another low level signing or two between now and the start of training camp and perhaps even a contract extension or two between now and the start of the regular season.

In other words, the Steelers are just fine salary cap wise at this point of the offseason, just like I knew they would be.

  • steeltown

    I could be wrong.. but i’m not sure they sign any more FA’s (except maybe Hampton, if Ta’amu and Fang fail to impress) As Bryan mentioned, I think they’ll use the designation money to sign Jarvis and Le’veon.. and then possibly give a current player a contract extension

  • NW86

    Agreed – anyone care to speculate on who is most likely to get an extension? Sanders? Worilds? Hood? Clark? Sanders would be ideal, but his asking price is also probably the highest…

  • steeltown

    Aha.. yes, I’ll speculate…….. Clark (1yr) or Sanders (4yrs)

  • DoctorNoah

    What are the chances they use some of that money to try to lockup some of next year’s RFA’s or UFA’s before they have that costly breakout season we’ve all been hearing about?
    – Ziggy Hood or Cam Heyward (maybe Ziggy’s a bust, but in case one or both of them turn out to be decent, it doesn’t hurt to throw money at them now and not have to worry about it next year)
    -Emmanuel Sanders (duh)
    -Cortez Allen (his agent probably wouldn’t let him even look at a contract extension right now, considering the buzz)
    Pouncey (isn’t his contract up next year too?)

    Just for example, you know. Find the players who are positionally adequate but unproven, give them some decent money to have them locked down for a few years and take the pressure off 2014 and 2015 where some cap hits are going to force restructures and tough choices. If we burn $500,000 on a player who doesn’t pan out when we have it to spare, it’s far preferable to having to shell out loads of money to players who we had for cheap but who had breakout performances during contract years…

  • steeltown

    McLendon was just signed to a 3yr deal.. Pouncey, Cortez Allen and Cam Heyward wont be UFA’s till 2015, so I think they wait another season on those guys…. Hood, Sanders and Worilds are prime candidates and/or maybe extend Clark for one more yr

  • RedCarpetDefense

    “Steelers generally like to keep $2 million or so set aside…in case of emergency” Thought only I did that

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    Does the $4m available project for the whole roster or just the rule of 51? Once the season starts, everyone on the roster counts including IR (Spence) and potential PUP players, so at 53+ players they are still relatively tight to the cap if they want to keep that $2m cushion to start the season.

  • SteelersDepot

    Two million goes a long way with qualiftying veteran contracts and displacement.

  • dgh57

    If I had to pick between Clark or Sanders I 1st have to ask myself which player I could least afford to lose if he was lost for the season due to injury. I like what’s behind Sanders and less for Clark. So I would like to see Clark extended at least through 2014 despite his age!

  • steeltown

    Clark has always played above his contract, his last deal paid him approx. $3.5MIL per avg, thats a steal for his productivity. If they can extend him through 2014 for a couple MIL I’d be happy. There’s no guarantee Troy stays healthy and theres also no guarantee that Golden is the answer

  • David Edward

    I don’t really see any ideal extension candidates. Would say Clark because of unproven depth, but he’s at the age where it’s very risky unless it’s for maybe half price. I’d say Ziggy would be a good target, but he’s been somewhat disappointing. They might be able to get him on the cheap though. They won’t do Worilds because they took Jarvis. Sanders is also risky because I don’t see him as an ideal #1 or #2 WR, so unless they get him for #3 money it doesn’t seem like a good choice. Really, when you look at it Pouncey might be the best target, but they may also want to wait another year.

  • DoctorNoah

    Perfect. That’s who I meant. 🙂

  • PLENTY of cap space to still bring in Casey and Breaston to make for a very competitive final 53.

  • dgh57

    When it comes to injuries who can predict them? When it comes to picking between 2 positions I have to look what’s backing them up first! A decision between the 2 will never happen as there are other positions to worry about, but the subject was brought up, so I responded.

  • steeltown

    Injuries are unpredictable, that and the fact that Clark is a proven commodity makes him my favorite for extension… personally I don’t think Sanders has shown enough to deserve an extension (atleast not a high dollar one that we all know he is seeking)

  • Shelob9

    Are The Steelers really still thinking about Breston? I thaught they were looking at Breston as part of their evaluation of what to do about Sanders’ RFA contract situation and how to prioritize drafting a WR. Also, what role would he fill that Cotchery doesn’t with less concerns about injury?

  • Ahmad

    The Rooney will be making it rain in their office come June 2nd.