Coming into this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were roughly $5.7 million over the 2014 NFL Salary Cap number of $133 million and now that linebacker Jason Worilds has been transition tagged, and both tight end Heath Miller and safety Troy Polamalu have had their contracts extended, we can easily speculate what the teams current cap status is.
Worilds was the first player this week to make news when he accepted a $9,754,000 transition tender from the Steelers. The addition of that amount would put the Steelers roughly $15.454 million over the cap at that point.
The two-year extension given to Miller should free up $3,333,334 of cap space for 2014 while the two-year extension given to Polamalu should also free up roughly $4,666,666.67 in additional space.
After those three moves, the Steelers are likely roughly $7.4534 million over the $133 million cap number.
The Steelers also re-signed safety Will Allen on Wednesday, but being as that is expected to be a one-year qualifying contract for the veteran minimum that comes with a reduced cap charge, it will likely only eat up an additional $150,000 of cap space in the top 51 after displacement. That would put the Steelers roughly $7.604 million over the cap.
As you can clearly see, the Steelers still have work to do and the result of that work is likely coming soon. The team is expected to release tackle Levi Brown at any moment and in doing so that will clear $6.25 million in cap space. In addition, we could see wide receiver Antonio Brown and linebacker Lawrence Timmons both have their contracts fully restructured to the full amounts. That would clear nearly $8 million more in cap space should both of those things happen.
The Steelers are also expected to do something with contract of cornerback Ike Taylor as well. If they were to terminate his contract, they would clear $7 million in cap space, but there’s also a chance he might accept a reduction somewhere in the neighborhood of $3-$4 million.
If Taylor were to accept a $3.5 million reduction, for example, the Steelers would be $10,028,500 under the cap if indeed both Brown and Timmons were also restructured to their full allowable amounts.
Now, keep in mind that the Steelers are currently working on getting a long-term extension done with Worilds as well and that would result in his current 2014 cap charge of $9.754 million being reduced by roughly $5 million or more. The quicker that gets done the better. Even if does take a little while, the Steelers figure to have plenty of cap room to re-sign a few more of their own unrestricted free agents and possibly one or two from other teams if the price is right.
At some point during the offseason, the Steelers might extend the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and in doing so, that could potentially free up roughly another $4 million or so in cap space depending on the numbers and the structure.
UPDATE: After the release of Levi Brown, Curtis Brown and Larry Foote, I have the steelers cap number at $133,372,066 and that includes the rollover from 2013. So they are either right at the number right now or just over or under.