Steelers Will Open Up Training Camp With Over $4 Million In Salary Cap Space Available

It has been a while since we have checked in on the salary cap situation of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As of right now the NFLPA has their Rule of 51 number at $4,403,813.00, and that is not bad at all considering that they were deemed to be in salary cap hell by the “experts” back in February. If you followed along here, however, you knew what to expect this offseason and when to expect it.

With all the 2013 draft class currently under contract and all the offseason practices now completed, the Steelers are not expected to sign any more free agents at this time. John Clayton of ESPN reported that free agent wide receiver Steve Breaston would more than likely be signed come the start of June, but that still hasn\’t happened as we sit here now in early July. In other words, unless an injury happens in training camp, Breaston isn\’t likely to be in the Steelers plans.

While a few have written that the Steelers should sign fullback Vonta Leach and safety James Sanders, I think most of you that read this site regularly know how ludicrous that sounds at this point. Leach\’s best days are behind him and Sanders has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. The only way the Steelers sign another fullback or safety moving forward would be because of injury.

So what will the Steelers do with some of the cap space that they have between now and the start of the regular season? Extending the contracts of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, defensive end Ziggy Hood is something I have posted about possibly happening for some time now, as they would be two likeliest candidates to have that done. With both safety Ryan Clark and defensive end Brett Keisel older than 33 years of age, I would be very surprised if either received an extension at this point. Linebacker Jason Worilds is also entering the final year of his rookie contract, and it would be wise for him to play out his final season, which will be his first as a starter.

The Steelers normally like to carry a couple of million in cap space during the season in case of emergency, so you can see they have a few million to play with right now. Keep in mind that a little more cap space will likely free up by the start of the season as quarterback John Parker Wilson, linebacker Brian Rolle and linebacker Kion Wilson should collectively free up another $525,000 in cap space as none of the three are expected to make the final 53 man roster. That money easily accommodates the 52nd player on the roster and part of the 53rd.

For the next three weeks, it will remain very quiet as the Steelers typically wait until training camp to sign players to extensions. If no extensions are signed between now and the start of the regular season, I will be very surprised. If for some reason they decide to carry nearly $5 million in cap space into the regular season, they can always rollover what is leftover to 2014 come the end of the season.

  • StarSpangledSteeler


    What is the likelihood of Cortez Allen signing an extension this year before the season begins?

  • CW

    What are the odds that the Steelers pick up one of the remaining better offensive tackles like Eric Winston or Demetress Bell on a one year contract? Both would be an upgrade as a backup over Guy Whimper and at this point neither should be expecting top dollar anyway. .

  • SteelersDepot

    not likely

  • SteelersDepot

    Winston would really have to lower his price and expect not to start. Bell is trash.

  • cencalsteeler

    stands up and applauds Omar!

  • Busforever

    Dave, I think you’re a little hard with the “experts” you mock. Yes, the Steelers were deemed in salary cap. Of course they revamped some contracts as always. But no one said the Steelers would be over the cap in june. We knew how the Steelers would deal with it. But they did it under hard cap pressure, that’s a fact. That’s why they were forced to take some hard decisions. That’s why we have some questions about depth at OL and LB.

  • Steves

    With @5mill in cap space it would be a good time to resign Ziggy. I know once Regular season starts the Steelers rarely make contract extensions etc., but they have signed players due to injury. Let us see how Worilds and Sanders does before giving them any money. Keisel and Clark may be expandable at their age although we would miss both.

  • opie1280

    Extending Ziggy Hood would be a joke. He’s pretty bad…he’s not worth re-signing.

  • Steves

    Who is Dave Hard on? He is giving the facts,, just facts!!! Colon was Way over priced for what he did. It was a good decision to cut ties,, he is injury prone and way too many penalties. Wallace cost too much. The Steelers are going for youth,, who can make plays.

  • Steves

    Opie – Well give us your idea on what should be done with 5 mil??

  • charles

    Hood’s numbers increased significantly last year. In LeBeau’s system the stats lie a lot. Hood could use the same help that Kiesel had, that is a serious threat at the LOLB position. Heres to Robinson coming on strong this preseason. On a different note Steelers depot had some excellent earlier pieces on what Kahn Colbert etal were doing with the cap. Maybe they could have used some of that on Harrison. Also it looks like the FO made a mistake with Woodley’s 60 mil and AB’s 40 mil , at least as far as numerical production since signing for the big bucks.

  • walter mason

    We got under by restructuring, as usual. I wonder if we will ever see the end to restructuring contracts?

  • walter mason

    Ziggy will probably not be in high demand after the season and we can sign him then..

  • walter mason

    Woodley has restructured so much we have no choice but to pray he can make a determined effort to come back. In other words, hes already been paid in advance. We are stuck with him whether he plays great or continues to “sit back and laugh.” (his own words)

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Yes, but do you understand WHY we choose the restructuring route? We could do what most other teams do. Which is offer large signing bonuses up front. Then have no flexibility later. When you have so many star players on one team, you are typically forced into one of those two options (if you want to keep them).

  • Stephen Dale

    Both Sanders and Hood should be treated like Worilds : produce significantly better BEFORE any contract extension. In fact, none of the three have done enough to merit staying around after their contracts expire.

  • Kolie Oak

    Watch Colon tear it up for the Jets and then tell me he was over-priced…
    He got injured plain and simple.

  • JohnnyV1

    It’s possible for them to add a player right before camp, or as camp progresses at WR or OL. They may extend one player, perhaps Ziggy. I’d keep the extra and roll it over to 2014, if it were me. Sanders (“I want to play for New England”) is a traitor and Ziggy isn’t that great as a 3-4 DE.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Why should we spend all $5M ? Not having reserves going in to the next year has hurt us repeatedly. This is sort of like our economy. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we “have” to spend it. Call it our rainy day fund.

  • NW86

    Impossible. Per the new CBA, they can’t rework or extend rookie contracts until at least 3 years into the contract.

  • steves

    If Wood don’t produce we need to cut him and our losses. Why keep dead weight when we can bring in a young boy who is hungry.

  • walter mason

    Sure I understand we were trying to keep a Super Bowl team together. Some of those players are now gone or will soon be gone and we will still have to take cap hits.

    The question is do you think we will ever see an end to the restructuring now that the SB team is breaking up?

  • Shannon Stephenson

    although I agree you also risk the Keenan Lewis effect which would drive their price of signing them too high for us. It is a risk either way

  • Steves

    Harrison was offered a contract and turned it down,, now he is making less money then the contract he turned down. He tried to renegotiate with the Steelers but the FO said NO!

  • David Putt

    Seems like common sense that we should hold on to that 4M until we get through training camp. With injuries and unexpected releases from other teams, we may need that to land someone in a pinch. After camp breaks, we can extend Hood or another veteran.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Sign him significantly cheaper now. All he has done is play a lot of snaps, never miss a game and man the unheralded LDE spot while helping the Steeler D to excellence in all his seasons. A good, healthy player like Ziggy that can be signed longer term without breaking the bank like Marvel Smith, or Woodley are more valuable than most folks realize. Sign him before season starts.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Woodley was definitely a mistake from the get go, Steelers OLB just get the fat stats. Hopefully he can earn some of that coin this year.

    I think the AB contract was a good risk…he can be real special when healthy and if he kept up the pace he was on last year before injury he’d be costing more than $40M. Ifs, ifs, ifs, I get it, I still think AB was the right move even if he doesn’t earn it.

  • Luke Shabro

    I don’t think Winston will at all. I think he’ll wait for an injury somewhere

  • Luke Shabro

    No. I think it will just be a new group. Most of our money will be tied up into our core group of players. (Ben, Pouncey, Timmons, Woodley). Eventually when these rookie contracts do run out we may be restructuring the likes of Shamarko Thomas, Cortez Allen, Jarvis Jones if they all pan out to be major players. Though we’re looking 4 years down the road. No matter what we are going to be tight up against the cap for the forseeable future. I do hope Omar has a disciple waiting in the wings if anyone ever signs him to be a GM. He’s been an artist with the cap IMO

  • Luke Shabro

    I think Steelers could’ve afforded Lewis if they wanted to. They let him walk because they believe in Cortez Allen

  • Luke Shabro

    I can’t belive people are still calling Sanders a traitor. This is a business! Take the fan goggles off and realize that. I bleed black and gold but if Manny Sanders played on a one year tender this year (as he will) and he had a career-ending injury, you can bet that Steelers management is cutting ties from that sinking ship. I don’t take any issue with Manny being willing to go somewhere where he could make some more money. The only issue I would have with him at all is if he goes out and plays not to get hurt like Wallace did last year. I don’t see Sanders doing that since he doesn’t have the stats and tape to put up that Mike already did. He has to go play lights out if he wants a big contract from the Steelers or any organization.

  • JohnnyV1

    He made the comment, didn’t have to. I call it like I see it based on that. Of course he’ll want to have a good year, and he has too, since he doesn’t have the resume, or the speed, that Wallace does. And not doubt, NFL is only major sport w/o guaranteed contracts. My comment based purely on his comment.
    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Steelers Will Open Up Training Camp With Over $4 Million In Salary Cap Space Available

  • charles

    I really like AB too. I have seen him take some wicked hits and get right up like a warrior. Way preferable to Wallace.

  • walter mason

    Im not sure I agree with all the restructuring. I realize Omar is just doing his job but I dont agree that this type of mortaging of our future should continue forever and i certainly wouldnt call him a genius or an artist. Im sure that any other team could do the same. We really need to get out of the red.

  • walter mason

    “We could do what most other teams do. Which is offer large signing bonuses up front.”

    I think Dave explained that Big Bens restructuring consisted of converting his base pay to a signing bonus up front. So it appears that you do not understand SSS. Yes I know its complicated but Dave has explained it well in the past but Im still surprised how many people just dont get it.

  • walter mason

    We could use the extra money to get out from under some of the restructuring next year.

  • Frank

    Maybe another TE? or just hold onto it, roster is pretty much set, keep the $ for an emergency.