Categorized | 2014 Salary Cap, News

Steelers $5.25 Million Under The Salary Cap Heading Into Friday

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly entertaining unrestricted free agents Alex Carrington and Cam Thomas on Friday and they should have enough cap space to sign both should they be so inclined.

According to Scott Brown of, the Steelers are currently $5.25 million under the $133 million salary cap after their early free agent activity has been filed with the NFLPA.

While $5.25 million might not seem like a lot, you have to keep in mind that they will gain another $8 million in cap space come June 2 when the release of linebacker LaMarr Woodley hits the books. In addition, when and if a long-term deal gets done with linebacker Jason Worilds, that should also free up another $3 million plus in space.

The Steelers 2014 draft class should only eat up about $5.5 million in cap space and should they need even more room moving forward, they can restructure the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons and free up nearly another $4 million in cap space.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Superdriller316

    If a deal isn’t done with Worilds before the draft, I’d go after the best pass rusher in the first.

  • 804Stiller

    Mack will be way gone. I don’t think there is another OLB with value at 15. I’m thinking they are going corner or big receiver. I’d prefer Gilbert or Dennard personally.

  • SteelerFan11

    Whats the word on Alex Carrington and Cam Thomas?? I haven’t heard much about them but to be honest I haven’t researched them much either. Do people think they will be a good fit?

  • cp72

    It’s surprising to me they don’t have Worilds done yet.We sure could use that reduced cap hit to add some depth at linebacker, wide receiver, running back, corner, and d-line.

  • afrazier9

    I have researched both and neither intrigue m e from the highlights i have seen

  • StarSpangledSteeler


    What do you think the chances are that the Steelers wait to extend Worilds until after this season? Perhaps they’re waiting to see if he can remain healthy for one full season before giving him $35 million?

    We don’t really save any money (salary-wise) by signing him now. If he has a great season he’s still going to get $9 million. If he gets hurt again (which I believe is a very good possibility) maybe that brings his price down. Or at least gives us another year to find a replacement.

    The one thing we CANNOT do is get into another “Woodley situation” with long term money tied up in a player who can’t stay on the field.

  • Superdriller316

    He might think he’s worth 9.75 million and doesn’t want to take less. With a higher cap players know teams have to spend it. Did anyone think Ziggy would get a 4 for 16 million dollar deal? I didn’t.

  • steeltown

    Personally I think Carrington could potentially be a good fit, he has the size and attributes to excel in our scheme, remains to be seen though. Cam Thomas I think is purely a depth move to backup the NT position, he’s a big man and would be an upgrade over Fangupo

  • Caesar

    Thomas was a mid-round draft pick who hasn’t really developed into an effective plugger despite his size. Carrington showed flashes as a 3-4 end, then floundered when Buffalo moved to a 4-3, then last year when they were back to a 3-4 he started the year pretty well before getting hurt.

  • 20Stoney

    I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. It does seem to buy us time and a little more certainty about who the true Jason Worilds is.

  • Superdriller316

    Right, and what’s plan B if Worilds doesn’t work out? A 4/5 round draft pick OLB this year that might not be worth a damn or a rookie next year? OLB is the most important position and the backups need to be starter material and not just depth guys. Jones is still an unknown and Worilds isn’t much better.

  • srdan

    Maybe barr?

  • srdan

    I don’t understand why people question his durability. He has played somehting like 90% of games.

    I am not opposed to letting him play this year at his tender. It’s not ideal. But if this happens we have options. If he plays at 10+ sacks we’re looking at 10+ mill a year. Which is approaching the franchise tag.

    I for one have full faith in him and the franchises assesment of him to keep him at the price they did. They know way more than we do. Sure they make mistakes (woodleys restructures), but in general (brown over wallace), in colbert I trust.

    I also don’t understand why people don’t understand paying people on potential, not lack of a long sample of games. If it was Hayward, nobobdy would be questioning an extension today.

  • srdan

    Sorry, my venting was not directed at you Star.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    It’s all good. I’m just trying to get a grasp on all the angles.

    Initially I thought the front office had an unspoken extension agreement in place when they signed him to the transition tag. That does not appear to be the case.

    If you believe Woodley’s statement, the Steelers were apparently not sure whether they would be keeping Woodley or Worilds. I think if they felt solid about Woodley’s “potential” they would’ve locked him up earlier and not even gotten to the tag stage.

    I disagree with the 90% of games stat. I don’t have the figures in front of me but it seems Worilds was hurt quite frequently. And he’s only played one full season as a starter (injured for two of those games i think).

    I need to research his health history.

  • srdan

    Plan B if worldis doesn’t work out? What was our Plan B last year if Woodley did what he always did? A star was born.

    I think Worldis will have a better season that he did. He will get #1 reps in camp, and JJ should improve on the other side. Plus he is playing behind a manimal DE.

  • SteelersDepot

    well, I suppose they could ride him on the tag, but if he plays well, they will be forced to tag him again next offseason and likely ride that tag all year as well with the notion he would be gone in 2016.

  • srdan

    I’m just unsure how some of my posts come across when I write them. I reread them and think “damn I sound mad” lol

    He played in 57/64 games, or 89%.

    Steelers were unsure what was happening with the cap. They thought that he would cost too much. That is why wood was approached. Once the cap was inflated the transition cap became available.

  • Superdriller316

    Worilds was a 2nd round pick and has been on the team 4 years.
    The way Cam played JJ should have been better.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    If you look back at the Steelers history, we are famous for finding under the radar OLB/DE and making them stars in our system. James Harrison, Kevin Greene, etc. Then when they go somewhere else they typically don’t produce as well. The issue is not so much finding them but paying for them.

    Woodley is going to cost us $8 million-ish in dead money. We can’t keep making those types of mistakes. The cap is killing us.

    You are correct that we have a lack of depth right now at OLB. But the answer is not panicking into signing a guy long term that may be injury prone. I think the Steelers may want to see another full season first.

  • steeltown

    I think I’d wait on drafting another 1st or 2nd Rd OLB, draft a mid-Rd guy like Shaq Barret and bring in someone like Dontay Moch to compete with C.Carter and Vic So’oto.. if something or someone doesnt work out this yr they could always be more active in FA next offseason in regards to bringing in a quality OLB and maybe draft high

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I agree. But look at the other angle. What if Worilds gets hurt?

    Here’s a link to his injury history…

    And most of those were when he was playing as a back up. How healthy is he going to be when asked to start 16 games plus playoffs?

    If he can prove his durability this year, fine, pay him the extra million bucks a year. But if he misses significant time, you have to really reconsider locking him up for $9 million/yr. long term.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Trade down for Dee Ford (Auburn) in the late 1st?

    Marcus Smith (Louisville) in the 2nd/3rd?

    Jeremiah Attachou (Ga Tech) in the 2nd/3rd?

    All of these guys are projected to be Worilds-comparable.

  • shawn

    i really think it was a boneheaded move to put the tag on Worilds … I’m pretty sure we could have locked him up for 8mil or even less before FA .. now it looks it will be in the neighbourhood of 9 mil per …

    As i said before this all broke … Worilds was a no win situation … and it looks as tho this is exactly what will happen … for the record i didnt want him at anything over 6 mil per before this fiasco … incredibly poor management on the FO’s part !

  • shawn

    i wonder who gave him the idea he was worth 9.75 mil per …. THANKS FO … !!

  • shawn

    it sounds as though Carrington is worth a shot … id pass on Thomas … pick up a late round guy for depth

  • Paddy

    They better start cooking the books again and get Ben done soon.

  • shawn

    Is it true … that the Saints Cap hit on Byrd was around 4 mil for 2014 … ??

  • steeltown

    Yep, but nearly $20MIL guaranteed and after this season his cap hit will be between $9MIL-$11MIL per for the next 5yrs

  • PA2AK

    I agree that OLB is a critical position, but I wonder how many 1-3 round picks have ever been used at the position by the steelers.

  • srdan

    Not ideal. But could be an option.

    Could they be waiting for June 2nd to pay most of his guaranteed money with the 8mm they will get?

  • mlc43

    and that’s why guaranteed money is an important factor in a contract.

  • mlc43

    The Bengals extended Marvin Lewis. It’s fitting he coaches the Bengals because that cat has 9 lives.

  • Jeff

    At some point, you gotta take chances. I’d rather them take a chance on Worilds and sign him to a long term deal now. If he has an outstanding year, we’ll have to franchise him next year, and if the Steelers decide to pay him after that it’ll be leaps and bounds over what we could sign him for long-term now.

  • shawn

    to be honest guaranteed is a little overrated .. u really have to factor in everything … some situations guaranteed means very little others it means everything …
    But people blindly saying ONLY look at the guaranteed are kidding themselves !

  • Jeff

    Agreed…. People complain about paying a guy based on potential, but if a guy is established they’ll complain “he’s too old, his best years are behind him”…. can’t win….

  • shawn

    intriguing .. I think the 10 mil per yr part is more worrisome than the guaranteed .. little too rich … but saw the breakdown and just thinking i dont know why the NFL lets the CAP be so misused … it doesnt help them in the end as teams get in trouble trying to be tricky … much like the IRS … would be beneficial if both were more straightforward all the way around ..
    I dont see any good reason they have it set up that way !

  • mlc43

    Of course you’re correct. You don’t ever just look at one thing. That would be foolish. Just like you don’t want to doom a team after 3 days of Free Agency. ;)
    However, guaranteed money is only overrated if you are looking at it at a purely fan level. The organization has to look at the future impact of the signing.

  • shawn

    saw a breakdown of how many contracts get fulfilled in the NFL and the players actually getting their full $$$ … was really low most ended up being in the 40-60% range ( i.e. completing 3 yrs of a 6 yr contract) with safeties towards the bottom.

  • mlc43

    Yup..that’s why they get it while they can. I don’t blame them. It sucks when we lose players as fans but they really need to capitalize on their financial opportunities.

  • srdan

    Yup, and the guys between the “no sample” and “too old” cost too much for a team like ours with a franchise QB and a FO that is unwilling to mortgage the future.

  • srdan

    Exactly. If our FO is unwilling to take a chance on a LB that has been stuck behind probowlers, who finally got a chance to play and excelled…..What should we take a chance on?

  • steelster

    Marvin Lewis turned around the Bungles. He just needs a qb. Maybe the bengals and cowboys should swap qb’s just for the hell of it.

  • 20Stoney

    I envision you with wild eyes and smoke coming out of your ears. (I jest)

  • mlc43

    That would be interesting. Romo going from the Cowboy’s facilities to the Bengals…that would be rough, lol.

  • srdan

    I disagree. Guaranteed is guaranteed. Period. That is what you are on the hook for unless you take the player to the supreme court. lol

    You get to play games with the salaries. When contracts are restructured, that is what they play with.

    The only thing that matters are teh guarantees, and maybe the first year base since that will be paid assuming the player doesn’t do somehting outrageous.

    Guaranteed money is what makes it so easy to get rid of rookies and low flier signings. Every team has 300k cash to pay someone for a couple months to try them out in teh summer. If htey dont like them, see ya! Doesn’t count against the cap.

  • srdan

    yeah bud you are right. 10 mill is a lot for a safety not wearing 43 lol

  • srdan

    I believe in continiuty. It’s not necessary to have the best coach to win, its necessary to have a good one for a while.

    But Dalton will be the end of marvin. He is just good enough to not get rid of him

  • steelster

    yes, but I meant it as both qb’s can’t win big games.

  • srdan


    But you know what I mean, email/text/blog is very unemotional. And I often see it derail conversations into arguments. I thought we were having a good convo and didn’t want to derail it.

  • mlc43

    You know….maybe facing Romo twice a year would help our turnover ratio!! :)

  • steelster

    positive thinking I like it

  • shawn

    I dont think that capitalising on their financial opportunities is the problem why most of them go broke after they stop playing … its their financial IQ and poor management of money this is the PROBLEM … no amount of money will ever fix that .. so it doesnt matter if they get 20 guaranteed or 30 guaranteed … (JeMarcus Russel .. excellent example … already nearly broke)

    Most should be able to de quite well on a few million … heck sakes the avg person barely makes a million dollars over their entire lifetime of HARD work …

    so sorry i can’t buy that argument that they need to capitalise while they can … to a limit yes i agree … but a few extra greedy million is not going to change their life one way or the other … THAT is the REALITY !

  • shawn

    at the top of his game … 43 is worth every penny .. where do we get another one … !!!

  • shawn

    what I’m saying … is lets say we get a young guy that is a proven player that stays healthy and fits the system to a T … and we give him a contract for 4 years that is reasonable ….. I DONT CARE if it is almost all Guaranteed … thats the gamble u take which is why i think most teams do a lousy job of breaking it down and analysing the risks and rewards …

    the worst gamble u can take is do nothing and wait til they have a good season and then either over pay them i.e. Worilds or lose them i.e. Keenan … that is actually the BIGGEST gamble that most teams erroneously think they are playing it safe by doing nothing …

    Take AB for instance … that was a GOOD gamble, ( i personally think they slightly overpaid … I’m sure could have gotten him for a little less, but i think it was due to the Wallace situation … but either way u look at it and now it looks like a pretty good bargain … i would have had no problem getting him slightly lower avg and more guaranteed … as i knew what type of player, character and production to expect … the risk of injury is actually pretty low and well worth the risk !

  • shawn

    very astute on Dalton … he is one of those rare cases …

  • srdan

    I am not follwoing your reasonoing.

    You say if you get a young guy in a system that fits to a T….

    I think what you are meaning to say is if a player plays his full contract out, it doesn’t matter if you guaranteed it or not, he costs the same. Right?

    But that is not true. Even assuming best case scenario, as you outline, the less you guarantee, the more restructures you get to play with to aquire other players.

    Keep in mind that it takes two to tango. Keenan wanted to dance in NO. Some of us, including me, were screaming for a player to replace worldis and cutting him last draft. If you undercut players by paying them early before they blossom, they sit out and ask for more money. Not good for business. Players should get paid what they deserve and play to. Just like we ask Ike to take a cut, we should be ready to pay AB more money.

    But I am not sure how any of this applies to the guaranteed contract talk.

  • Superdriller316

    I’m not a fan of the Worilds deal at all. It’s way more than what he’s worth. I’m all for trading back and pulling the trigger on Dee Ford in the first. That way if it doesn’t work with Worilds you have his replacement with a year in the system. Same thing if Jones turns out to be a bust.

    Everyone keeps saying we have a big hole at WR. We only dress 4. AB, M Wheaton, J Brown, and resign JaCo. There was a post awhile ago, when Ben throws more than like 35 times, the percentage of us loosing is through the roof. So with all the depth at WR in the draft, you can get a tall good one in later rounds. I like M. Bryant personally, he has good speed and would fit right in as a #2.

    With all of the good corners, we can get a good one in later rounds too. Even if we did get one in the first, I doubt very seriously he would see the field barring injury. Chad Scott was the last CB taken in the first. That was 1997. Everyone else have been 2nd or later.

    I’m all for BPA as long as it fits our needs. EXP. Z Martin, OT is graded higher in the second than say K. Benjamin. Who do you draft? Do you spend another second on an OT? I’m taking the WR, fits more of a need.

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