Steelers Have Enough Cap Space To Sign RB LeGarrette Blount

Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert and Director of Football Administration Omar Khan are inching ever so close to their salary cap limit. If they are indeed intent on adding an experienced running back between now and June 2nd, they will have to create more cap room via a contract restructure or extension depending on what the player they are targeting is looking for in the way of money.

While the Steelers currently have just under $1.052 million in available cap space at their disposal, that is enough to add a running back with experience. In fact, as long as the first-year cap hit of the player that they want to sign isn’t more than $1.5 million, they’ll have just enough cap room available thanks to top 51 displacement.

The Steelers currently have New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount scheduled for a visit at the end of this week and being as he earned $680,000 last year, you have to wonder if he’d be willing to take a one-year qualifying contract from the Steelers.

If Blount were to accept such a contract, he would more than likely be given a $730,000 base salary and a $65,000 signing bonus. His cap charge on such a contract would only be $635,000 and the Steelers could easily accommodate that. In fact, that cap charge would only use up another $140,000 in salary cap space once displacement takes place.

If, however, the Steelers are still hoping to sign Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, you can likely bet that his first-year cap charge would be more than $1.5 million. In that case, the Steelers would more than likely restructure the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons, as it doesn’t sound like any extensions are on the horizon.

If I were to place a bet on this, my money would go on Blount signing a one-year qualifying contract on Friday, as he is the only running back currently scheduled for a visit. Should that wind up happening, the Steelers would still have $911,934 in cap space left. That would still be enough room to sign a few more players to one-year qualifying contracts before June rolls around.

  • Axe Skot

    I like Blount over MJD at this point in time.

  • steeltown

    I will feel a lot more comfortable heading into the draft with Bell and Blount on roster, we could then focus on a speedster in the later Rds of the draft and bring back LSH (if healthy)

  • Rather have blount

  • Will Hammer

    How about Moreno ?

  • ApexSteel

    I would love it, but he would cost too much.

  • Smashmouth

    I’m still of the opinion that blount fits the steelers needs better than mjd and combining him with bell in the backfield would be a serious threat

  • steeltown

    They would wear defenses down, bring back ‘smashmouth’ football

  • srdan

    The steelers offense lacks an identity, and it could be argued that they have lacked one since bettis retired. It’s not a must to have one since we have won a superbowl since. I feel that either MJD or Blunt coudl further define our offense. Are we a smashmouth running team, or a pass first team?

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Munchak’s hiring seem to be an implication of returning to smashmouth football.If that’s the case, either MJD or Blount would have been good signings. We probably will play with more of 2 backs offense like the Giants did with Barber/Jacobs. If that is the case, WR is more of a dire need than TE even though i’d grade TEs over WRs better in this draft.

  • Callentown

    I think Blount did too much last year to sign for the minimum. He may also be using this to push N.E. to sign him, so hard to tell right now.

  • steeltown

    I’d give him $1MIL per why not, maybe 2yrs $2.5MIL

  • srdan

    I agree. The nfl is all about cycles. Now everyone is geared up to stop passing offenses. Good DEs that rush the passer, but are susceptible to the run. Corners that cover well, but don’t tackle well. It’s only a matter of time before there are more teams like seattle that are “old school”. Our front office has always been ahead of the curve in the league, hopefully this is another cycle where we can benefit.

  • Craig Ressler

    MJD is a much better signing, IMO. MJD is a much superior pass blocker and pass catcher than Blount. MJD has always been good a protecting the football another area of struggle Blount in the past. Not to mention if we lost Bell I’d much rather have MJD as a featured back than Blount. MJD playing on an offense with a supporting cast, that would certainly something that would aid MJD in that role.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Call I agree but, no one has grabbed him or even offered anything yet. I think we might get lucky and I have a feeling he might not be pleased with Belichick not doing anything with him coming off a very nice season.

  • Zack

    I don’t think he’s going back to NE. He’s stuck behind Ridley and Vereen with Bolden as the change-of-pace back so his ability to maximize his earning potential there is incredibly limited by their depth at RB. In Pittsburgh, he’ll absolutely be the No. 2 guy, probably vulture a decent amount of TDs and he’s one bad break for Bell away from full-time duty on a team that plays a style that emphasizes his strengths. His best play at this point is a one-year deal with Pittsburgh because he’s almost guaranteed to be No. 2 and he’s behind a second year player so his chances for more carries are extremely high.

  • Zack

    He’s a much larger cap hit for what is most likely less production in 2014. We’re in a rut as it is. Overpaying a backup RB based on reputation isn’t really something we’re in a position to be doing IMO. Neither guy is tipping the scales on the 2014 season if we’re being honest here, so I’d rather have the younger, bigger, cheaper, healthier guy to complement Bell.

  • Craig Ressler

    I’m was basically responding to all the comments of people saying Blount is the better option, give me Blount over MJD and what not. I would much rather have MJD over Blount is all I was saying. I realize their financial situation.

  • dkoy85

    I’d love a 2 year contract with him. I think 2015 will be the year we become a serious threat in the AFC and I’d love Blount(assuming they sign him) to be a part of it- Brady 1 year older and Manning hopefully filling his belly with Papa Johns. This team is getting younger and coming together for a nice 2015 run.

  • steeltown

    Its true, tackling has suffered the last few yrs due to the new CBA camp and practice guidelines. As long as Munchak can get the OLine to play with more intensity and unity a stable of Bell and Blount could be dangerous

  • RMSteeler

    Thanks for putting the numbers to the two options. It’s what I thought, now nice to know. Pretty sure the difference in price is MJD’s pass catching ability compared to Blount. I’d think the Steelers would value MJD more, but your analysis and numbers lead me to think that Blount may be the choice so a restructure doesn’t have to be done yet and would leave money on the table for more options should they arise before 6/1.

  • Zachary Wise

    I completely agree; grab De’Anthony Thomas, Dri Archer, or James White in one of the later rounds. They would be the perfect compliment to Bell in the future.

  • Matt Manzo

    Has Blount visited any other teams?

  • steeltown

    I don’t believe so, but its been reported the Ravens and obviously the Patriots have interest

  • Robert Loveless Reid

    We’re a “whatever gets it done team” we can throw or hopefully with bell and blount run it down teams throats……

  • Robert Loveless Reid

    They would only play short yardage/redzone packages…bell is a great 3 down back….

  • Craig Ressler

    Yeah, Bell is. Still would rather have MJD over Blount if their asking prices where the same.

  • Smashmouth

    the steelers can’t imo keep mortgaging the future they will at some point have to pay the piper so to speak. And as some here pointed out mjd is a better pass blocker / receiver than blount , mjd’s also going to ask probably twice the money that blount will so i can live with a running back that just run’s the ball i can remember a guy named bettis who wasn’t the best receiver we did alright with him if i remember correctly

  • Matt Manzo

    I would flip out like a little b**ch if he went to the Ravens, so many guys I’ve wanted are in BA or Cinn!!!
    Simon, Burfict, Cody, Elam, Eifert, Mauluga, probably a few more!

  • Matt Manzo

    I think you’re right? I remember a few screens and a rare deep pass but that’s it!

  • alex

    crush kill destroy

  • Christopher Rudisill

    Ha, I think Bettis threw more passes than caught them.

  • steelster

    If Moreno got 3 million a year from the dolphins than Blount should be looking for 2 million a year.

  • Matt Manzo

    I had to look it up! 200 receptions/1450 yards!
    I remember like 5 of em!
    I don’t know how many of those we’re with the Rams?

  • MC

    I’ve only been peripherrally aware of blount from what i’ve seen of highlights on nfl network here and there. BUt after reading about his career i didn’t realize he’s been so productive especially for an UFA. He’d be cheaper than MJD so i’d prefer him when you consider the price.
    Add in a scat back and you have a pretty good stable.

  • Jeff Anoble

    I’d be very surprised if he signed for a minimum contract. With Rice being out for awhile the Ravens will offer him more then that. The Patriots as well. 1.5 mil. per year (2 yrs) would maybe get it done.

  • Toddy Bravo

    If we do pick up Blount, one would think he would be a 3rd down back. What you generally want to see in a 3rd down back are the abilities to gain short yardage, catch the ball out of the backfield and pass block. I just checked his stats and was shocked at his almost complete lack of receiving production.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I said the same thing with last yrs draft

  • steelster

    Bell is a third down back, however he needs rest and hopefully the steelers won’t run him into the ground and limit his touches so he can have a long career.