Categorized | 2014 Salary Cap, Article

Steelers Still Have Plenty Of Salary Cap Space To Sign Free Agent DE Alex Carrington


A few of you have asked if the Pittsburgh Steelers still have enough salary cap space to sign Buffalo Bills unrestricted free agent defensive end Alex Carrington and the short answer to that question is, yes, as long as his asking price is not through the roof.

After the Steelers re-signed veteran offensive lineman Guy Whimper on Monday, they have $2,174,434.00 in available cap space and while that might not seem like a lot, it should be more than enough to accommodate Carrington.

If you look at the five year, $25 million contract that safety Mike Mitchell signed last week, his 2014 cap charge resulted is a mere $2.2 million. For the sake of this example, let’s say Carrington’s first year cap charge wound up being the same. (It shouldn’t be that high) You then have to factor in displacement in the top 51.

Currently, the lowest salary in the Steelers top 51 is $420,000, so that would be displaced by Carrington’s imaginary cap charge of $2.2 million. That means it would eat up $1.78 million in additional cap space.

Once again, I don’t expect Carrington to get a contract similar to Mitchell’s, so in reality, the displacement of a new deal for him would use up even less cap space.

So what about free agent wide receiver Lance Moore, can they afford him as well? Being as the Steelers would like to sign him to a one-year qualifying contract, they would have plenty of room for him as well. In fact, they have enough room for several more of those qualifying contracts should that be the route they choose to go.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    That’s what I was thinking… but, would Lance Moore agree to a one yr qualifying contract?

  • moderatelysane

    I don’t think Lance Moore is worth more than a qualifying.

  • mlc43

    If we some how sign Carrington I think that would give us a pretty serviceable defense should it stay mostly healthy. I still think we would be thin at OLB and CB. I would wonder if the first pick of the draft would/should go with offense. Ben could use a play maker and the O may need to carry the D for a while.

  • Jay Jaber

    What’s wrong with bringing in Jason avant rather then Moore. We need a security blanket for Ben like cotch was. I think avant fits that roll

  • Shannon Stephenson

    not sure he is worth a qualifying contract

  • AndyR34

    I don’t want him…even for free!

  • Pete Johnson

    Yeah plenty of cap money, we are just rolling around in it with room to spare. I guess that is why we have been so active this free agency while others haven’t. I mean ranked 32 out of 32 teams in available cap space gives us a huge advantage, forget Carrington let’s trade for Wilfork and his 7.5m base salary and move Mac to DE.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Miles Austin, Sydney Rice and Jacoby Ford are all out there as well. Avant’s production went down quite a bit last year even though he was targeted just as much as any year. Ford has not had the same production but he can also return kicks and punts and do that well. Austin is only 2 years removed from a 1K receiving year but will admit last year was very down for him. Rice has never achieved like he did several years back but injuries has been his achilles heal. I do like that Avant can play ST as well.

  • RW

    Why the negativity? Carrington would be a smart move given our limited funds. Also amidst your sarcasm you incorrectly listed us as being in the worst cap shape. But we all get it.

  • steeltown

    He’s worth a qualifying contract

  • Iron Cadet

    I’ve lost hope. The raiders have trillions in cap space that they have to spend. We need to sign worilds to a long term deal and free up a little more room

  • Pete Johnson

    I just get a little tired of the positive spin on the cap situation like we have plenty of money to make moves like Carrington, when in reality that just is not true.

  • steeltown

    Yea but they also just signed Justin Tuck and Lamarr Woodley to play DE in their Defense, they may not be willing to offer Carrington a ton of money or offer him a starting gig

  • Shannon Stephenson

    He is a one trick pony whose trick is fading quickly. He is 30 and relies on speed. Not a good combination

  • steeltown

    Good hands and excellent route running also. We have no one behind A.Brown at this point except Wheaton… Moore would be a welcomed addition IMO

  • Bill Sechrengost

    There do seem to be several veteran-type WR’s, if Cotchery doesn’t remain with the Steelers. I see that the Bears are likely to release Earl Bennett. None of these guys are #1 or #2 receivers, more like #3 or #4, but they are out there. If they can help on special teams, that is definitely a bonus. Cotchery does an excellent job on special teams. He will be hard to replace in more ways than one.

  • steeltown

    In reality it is true, we have enough ‘cap’ to get him signed, Mitchell got $25MIL and as Bryan mentioned his ’14 cap hit is a lowly 2.2MIL

  • Alex Kozora

    Carrington would probably be asked to play DT.

  • steeltown

    Way to put a damper on my hopes and dreams…

  • Robert Anderson

    Umm, they have Derick, Moye who is 6’5″ Before anyone says hes no good, why not give him a chance before writing him off.

  • RW

    Just because teams have cap space and an sign second contract emerging stars doesn’t mean the team will be good. Look at the ‘dream team’ eagles. This isn’t baseball – the players actually have to fit the defense/offense well and get along together. Best way todo that is the draft. That said, keeping our own players is a priority

  • lone pistol

    Im scared the team gave him a chance and they don’t think much of him, hope that’s wrong but we as diehard fans may over value players and the level of talent and maturity, we don’t get to be around practice and game study with them

  • joed32

    He didn’t seem to get any separation when he played last year and he did have a big drop. I like J.Brown a little bit better.

  • Tom

    Well, that is good news. When you read headlines stating that they only have 2.1 million in cap room, it’s easy to get discouraged. Looks like Carrington is just being slow and methodical in making his rounds. Not sure that anything else should be read into it.

  • joed32

    Last year Miami was the big spender. The winner in March usually ends up at home in January.

  • steelster

    This signing would make for a good signing if he can become the starter.

  • mlc43

    People seem to forget that we signed Worilds to a huge contract. That was almost 10M of our available FA money. He should be considered a FA signing and factored into the moves they’ve made. We have done all this without mortgaging the future, and things should only get better next year. So far we have done okay

  • Pete Johnson

    Him running to sign that tender the first second he could got us in this mess that is for sure. And his agent and him knew that with the cap situation they could squeeze the Steelers by doing that. Oh you want to sign my client to a long term deal? Well guess what, we will just sit back and collect 10m knowing you can’t afford that against your cap unless you pay what we want, and now our starting price is that 10m we have guaranteed already. So pay up.

    The way the market is looking he would have been hard pressed to get 10m guaranteed over 4 years much less one. Now unless we give him at least 18m guaranteed he is just going to play it out at a 9.75m cap number which is a complete disaster for us , and then we get to pay him even more next year if we want to keep him.

    Just another gross miscalculation by the front office, and when you are talking about a 10m cap space miscalculation, plus the 14m in dead money from Woodley the hits just keep on coming. Maybe one day the fanbase will wake up and see what is really going on here.

  • Pete Johnson

    His average numbers per year are very Cotchery esque(better in some cases like TD’s), and he is 2 years younger. If you think he is signing for vet min you are out of your mind.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    They must really didn’t like the progress report of his injury otherwise it’d not be taking this long.

  • steeltown

    That’s somewhat misguided, there are a lot of factors going into play. First off we can afford the $9.75MIL in cap, but who’s to say they wont get a long term deal done, they have alot of time in which to do so and the security of a long term contract is what every player wants. Yes, he’ll probably get $15-18MIL guaranteed but it wont be $10MIL per avg, more like $8-9MIL, I think the 5yr $40-45MIL that is being speculated is about right.

    He could play hardball and play out this season on a one yr deal, but I bet this was discussed before hand by both parties with with a long term deal in mind.

  • mlc43

    I can’t help but wonder if you would be ranting just as hard had we let him walk.

  • Pete Johnson

    I’m not ranting. Honestly I hate to bring this up, but look what Ravens did with Monroe. They correctly assessed the down market, let him go without taking up 11.6m on a franchise tag, and then ended up with him and 4 other players (starters!) for the cost of that tag in 2014.

    Steelers on the other hand tagged a guy at a massive number that was going to have an “iffy” market due to lack of track record, he ran to sign it, and it destroyed what little cap room they had left. Pretty much shut down any chance we had of doing anything significant in FA, on a team with more holes than a block of swiss cheese. We went on to sign a safety with a 1 yr track record, and a complete bum at NT. we should have done exactly what they did, let Worilds test the market, and then sign him back on a long term deal that had a 2014 cap number at about 3.5m instead of 9.75.

    Could we have lost him? Sure. but we could have gone to other options instead of being saddled with the 9.75m he is counting against the cap. Does anyone realize what 9.75m of cap room in this market could get you?? 3 starters if not more, easy. Good ones too. Starters we desperately need especially on defense that is a black hole of nothing right now outside of Cam and Timmons.

    So sorry if I am not seeing a bunch of rainbows on the horizon, quite the opposite actually.

  • Steve

    Good case. Was a Dream, that team, bunch of Premadonna that never played as a team.

  • alex

    he wanted a commitment, so he signed the first knowing he’d get the extension, and when it comes it will get added to the $8M we get June1st…thats a big bag a loot!

  • Steeler Wheeler

    I’m mostly with Pete on this one. Steelers screwed up the Worilds thing, but, Pete, although $10M does get you 3 starters this season, it wipes out next year and the next… Hopefully, Steelers are learning not to get in cap hell again…I think that’s why these guys are walking away. Team friendly deal or see ya. I’m OK with that, sucks that we might have to rely on Alvester somebody, Chris Carter and Derek Moye, but mortgaging the future is currently hurting the Steelers, let’s not do it again.

    Sorry Ben, no deal for you.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I usually agree with you on most points just not this one. He is a small guy who hits home runs. He is 30…not many guys keep their speed getting up in their 30’s. I would like to see a possesion receiver and if we sign Moore as a 4th that is fine but I do not see that since I do not believe he plays ST.

  • steeltown

    Neither did Cotchery, yet he was our #4 when he signed. If we draft WR early on Moore would most likely be the #4 and when/if an injury occurs we have a solid experienced WR to step in. I think for a 1yr minimum he’s a steal.

    In the end, if Cotchery re-signs this is a moot point

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