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.