Steelers 2015 Salary Cap Update As Of April 1

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t likely to make many more significant free agent signings prior to the 2015 NFL Draft so now is a perfect time to update the team’s salary cap situation now that the calendar has flipped over to April.

Currently, the team has 69 players under contract after defensive end Clifton Geathers was re-signed on Wednesday and as you can see in the table below, I have the Steelers at $4,966,051 under the cap as of Thursday.

Now, that $4,966,051 number will be different from the one the one that the NFLPA has as I am factoring in offseason workout bonuses in addition to a veteran cap credit payback chargers. At some point those two charges will need to be accounted for, so I already have them listed in my numbers.

Now that we have a starting number, we can now take a look ahead at a few things that will occur over the course of the next several months.

For starters, the Steelers will have to accommodate their eight draft picks they are currently scheduled to make later this month. Their rookie pool number will likely come in at around just over $5.6 million, but thanks to displacement in the top 51 salaries, they will only need roughly $1.4 million in additional salary cap space to sign all eight of their selections.

The Steelers will also eventually need to accommodate the salaries of a 52nd and 53rd player as well, but both of those cap charges aren’t likely to exceed a million dollars. In addition to those two charges, a 10 player practice squad also needs to be accounted for and that total charge will more than likely come in at around $1.1 million.

As you can see, the Steelers will need to allow for roughly another $3.5 million in future cap charges prior to the start of the 2015 season in addition to keeping another $2 million or so in available space for in-season injury replacements.

While all of the above may be a bit confusing, the Steelers are essentially right up against the cap right now when you factor in the future moves that will be made in addition to workout bonus and veteran cap credit charges.

Moving forward, the status of safety Troy Polamalu for the 2015 season also currently remains unclear, but all signs are pointing to him either retiring or being released post June 1. If either of those two things happen, the Steelers will free up another $6 million in salary cap space at that point.

That $6 million in potential cap savings from Polamalu will get put to good use, however, because as we have previously noted, defensive end Cameron Heyward and tackle Kelvin Beachum will both more than likely receive contract extensions at some point during training camp. While Heyward’s currently scheduled cap charge of $6,969,000 will likely decrease some as a result of an extension, Beachum’s currently scheduled cap charge of $1,553,474 is likely to increase some.

Depending on what happens during the draft, the Steelers might also consider giving nose tackle Steve McLendon an extension as well, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. If it does, however, the team can easily accommodate such a move.

If you are wondering about the status of guard David DeCastro, it’s important to remember that even though he is currently entering the final year of his rookie contract, the team is expected to pick up his fifth-year option later this month. At that point, DeCastro would then be in line for an extension next offseason.

I hope I have explained this thoroughly enough for you and I will be glad to answer any questions that any of you might have in the comments below.

Steelers 2015 Projected Salary Cap Numbers
As Of 4/1/2015
Players Under Contract
PlayerBase SalaryCap Charge
Ben Roethlisberger$1,000,000$17,245,000
Lawrence Timmons$7,500,000$12,566,250
Antonio Brown$6,000,000$9,787,500
Troy Polamalu$6,000,000$8,250,000
Cortez Allen$2,631,000$6,981,000
Cameron Heyward$6,969,000$6,969,000
Heath Miller$4,000,000$5,666,666
Maurkice Pouncey$745,000$4,296,000
Shaun Suisham$2,595,000$3,665,000
Marcus Gilbert$745,000$3,256,000
Steve McLendon$2,250,000$2,808,334
Mike Mitchell$745,000$2,508,750
Cam Thomas$2,000,000$2,500,000
David DeCastro$1,030,531$2,486,240
Jarvis Jones$1,196,410$2,374,228
Ryan Shazier$852,146$2,160,728
Ramon Foster$1,850,000$2,150,000
Bruce Gradkowski$1,550,000$1,833,334
William Gay$1,500,000$1,666,668
Kelvin Beachum$1,542,000$1,553,474
Antwon Blake$1,542,000$1,542,000
Robert Golden$1,542,000$1,542,000
Will Johnson$1,542,000$1,542,000
Arthur Moats$850,000$1,483,333
DeAngelo Williams$870,000$1,435,000
Cody Wallace$1,100,000$1,250,000
James Harrison$1,000,000$1,250,000
Mike Adams$873,225$1,127,525
Le’Veon Bell$779,600$1,123,800
Matt Spaeth$925,000$1,062,000
Stephon Tuitt$629,520$1,047,601
Sean Spence$680,000$816,345
Markus Wheaton$605,000$752,844
Shamarko Thomas$585,000$698,288
Landry Jones$585,000$694,805
Clifton Geathers$745,000$665,000
Darrius Heyward-Bey$745,000$665,000
Greg Warren$970,000$665,000
Dri Archer$518,000$644,504
Martavis Bryant$510,000$619,805
Vince Williams$585,000$604,670
B.W. Webb$585,000$585,000
Matt Conrath$585,000$585,000
Michael Egnew$585,000$585,000
Ross Ventrone$585,000$585,000
Terence Garvin$585,000$585,000
Daniel McCullers$510,000$529,670
Brad Wing$510,000$510,000
Chris Hubbard$510,000$510,000
Josh Harris$510,000$510,000
Jordan Zumwalt$435,000$461,213
Shawn Lemon$435,000$437,500
Alden Darby$435,000$435,000
Alejandro Villanueva$435,000$435,000
Brelan Chancellor$435,000$435,000
C.J. Goodwin$435,000$435,000
Ethan Hemer$435,000$435,000
Howard Jones$435,000$435,000
Ian Wild$435,000$435,000
Isaiah Lewis$435,000$435,000
Joe Kruger$435,000$435,000
Jordan Dangerfield$435,000$435,000
Kevin Fogg$435,000$435,000
L’Damian Washington$435,000$435,000
Mitchell Van Dyk$435,000$435,000
Richie Leone$435,000$435,000
Rob Blanchflower$435,000$435,000
Roosevelt Nix$435,000$435,000
Tajh Boyd$435,000$435,000
Total 69 Players Under Contract$84,112,432$135,234,075
Dead Money
PlayerCap Charge
LaMarr Woodley$8,580,000
LeGarrette Blount$475,000
Lance Moore$322,500
Brett Keisel$250,000
Shaquille Richardson$142,539
Wesley Johnson$108,420
Rob Blanchflower$44,550
Nick Williams$28,924
David Paulson$11,474
Howard Jones$6,667
Eric Waters$5,000
Josh Mauro$5,000
Roy Philon$4,000
Brendon Kay$3,334
Ethan Hemer$3,334
Will Simmons$3,334
Chris Elkins$2,667
Total 17 Players Dead Money$9,996,743
Total Rule Of 51 Number$137,405,818
2015 Salary Cap$143,280,000
Rule Of 51 Under Cap$5,874,182
2014 Cap Rollover Credit$778,469
Workout Bonus Charge$561,600
Veteran Cap Credit Payback Charge$1,125,000
Total Projected Cap Space Available$4,966,051

  • steeltown

    Nice. I’m not sure that it can be explained better. Is this the last yr of Woodley $$$ on the books?

  • Kelly Johnson

    From the chart…the 1st thing that jumped out at me was Cortez Allen’s salary cap number. I’m OK for giving him another chance and I hope he plays well this year but based upon last year’s production his contract currently looks like a mistake.

  • So they could more than likely carry Polamalu’s contract through the year if they decided to bring him back one more time? Not saying that’s going to happen, but it looks like that would be possible.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Thanks for addressing the DeCastro situation. That was honestly my biggest thought/question when I clicked on the article. (Crazy that he’s already been on the roster this long. Time is flying!)

    When do you think would be the earliest that it would make sense for the Steelers to try extending Bell? Next offseason?

  • Devon Day

    I believe so. That’s something I am sure Kevin Colbert will not repeat anytime soon.

  • Devon Day

    DeCastro will be resigned and, should the Steelers draft Donovan Smith, release Ramon Foster. Youth is needed, not age. Shelf life for lineman are not what they used to.

  • SteelCity

    Next off season would be the time to extend Bell. If I remember correct since he was drafted in the 2nd round they do not get the fifth year option on him. With that in mind then next off season he would be entering the final year of his rookie contract.

    Interesting to watch how contracts are structured with that in mind.

  • Nolrog

    If Troy retires do they get to consider that a “post June 1st” kind of thing, or will the money immediately accelerate into this year?

  • steeltown

    They’d be wise to extend Le’Veon next offseason

  • steeltown

    Yep, out with the old in with the new. Woodley, Taylor and presumably Polamalu off the books will be a big relief. Although I think Polamalu will still count for $2.25MIL in dead next year, which is bearable.

  • SteelersDepot

    depends on when he is actually released from the reserve/retired list. At some point, EVERY player is released if his contract hasn’t expired.

  • SteelersDepot

    Players are not able to renegotiate their contracts before the end of the third season on their rookie contracts.

  • srdan

    Agreed. Also, Cam thomas is too high up on the list, and Bell is too low. Other than that it seems in line. Obvi bell is on his rookie contract.

  • srdan

    If I were Bell, I would hold out this year. Ask for an extension this year. It’s unprecedented but man, the way they ran him until his wheels fell off last year is scary for ones health. And runningbacks don’t have a whole lot of value in the NFL. He will get paid, no doubt about it, but to be the best in the league at your position and be paid as one of the last guys, I’d have an issue with it.

    “The last two seasons my backups have made more than me?”

  • SteelersDepot

    The Steelers cant touch his contract this year if they even wanted to per the CBA thus it makes no sense for Bell to holdout.

  • 20Stoney

    I was going to say the same thing. Kind of amazing that he is more than Heath Miller.

  • steeltown

    Thomas has to go…. top 15 in cap charge amount and top 10 in base salary??…..madness I say

  • Rick M

    I’m a vocal critic of the F/O in terms of drafting and personnel moves in recent years. But I think it’s unfair to blame them for the Woodley extension that has hurt us so much. He was a total force in years 2-4, with double-digit sacks every year. He earned his second contract in spades IMO, and I think most F/O’s backload those type of contracts. I don’t think anyone could have foreseen his injury problems. It was just a bad break from an on-field production and salary cap perspective. Thank goodness the effects will finally be over after 2015

  • steeltown

    After this season he’ll basically be exactly at Miller’s amount for the remainder of his deal ($4MIL base / $5.6MIL cap) If and that’s a big if, he turns it around that is a pretty manageable and Team friendly amount for a starting CB, the guaranteed amount is very low.

  • PittsburghSports

    I’m a Steve McLendon fan, and I can’t stand when fans point to him as the main issue with the defense, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Steelers let him test the market next year. Like you suggest, it might depend on what happens in the draft, but Steelers have shown interest in a few DTs, and one of my favorite in this years class is Grady Jarrett. Undersized, but he’s a heck of a player.

  • PittsburghSports

    Not if they want to sign Beachum long term.

  • Rick M

    I agree that he’s too harshly criticized. He’s following in the steps of a great one in Casey H. and there aren’t many of that calibre around. As for his value as a FA, he’ll be 30 next January and that’s getting up there for a NT. Other than Arizona and Tennessee and their Steelers’ connections, I’m not sure there will be a lot of interest in him. Then again if he has a great year…

  • PittsburghSports

    Well there’s plenty of 3-4 defenses in the league now, and many would suggest he could play in a 4-3 as well, but like you said he’ll be 30 next year and has had some injury issues lately.

  • JNick

    I just wish my name was Landry Jones. 3rd string QB. Ride the bench and carry the the clipboard. Bring home $585,000.
    Hope he has a good financial advisor.

  • Rick M

    Re: the 4-3, yes there will be teams like Arizona who would look at him. They incorporated Ta’amu into their line-up and McLendon seems a far better player.

  • JNick

    Because he’s a rookie.
    And a RB.
    Rookies don’t get paid like they used to.
    RB’s don’t get paid like they used to.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Agreed. Colbert & Co. has made a lot of mistakes recently but the Woodley re-signing was not one of them.

    He was a young, healthy, highly productive, highly durable player for his first 4 years. There was no significant indication of that an injury/drop off of that magnitude was forthcoming.

  • PittsburghSports

    Cardinals run a 3-4.

  • LucasY59

    I think if he decides he wants to play another year for the Steelers he would take a pay-cut (like Ike did last year, and they had asked Harrison to do they year before and Hampton a year or two before that) He had no impact plays last year (sacks, INTs, maybe one FF if I remember, but not really sure) he knows his play is declining and it isnt unreasonable to ask for some cap help, he will also have to accept a limited role (mostly depth/mentoring) he will still be getting paid a lot more than Shamarko (who will hopefully be playing more than him)

  • LucasY59

    I would call it STUPIDITY, I get mad every time I hear or see his name (especially when the cut KIESEL!!!)

  • LucasY59

    Pay-cut for Troy, Dump the Garbage with Scam, extend Heyward and the Cap should be where it needs to be.

  • Rick M

    The Cardinals were primarily a 3-4 under the departed Bowles, yes. But they shifted to the 4-3 on occasion and even used it exclusively against the Cowboys thinking it provided a better match-up against the Cowboys offense. If Josh Mauro can get starting snaps on the Cardinals there’s no doubt McLendon could as he’s pretty flexible position-wise.


    As of today…they have enough to secure the draft class basically.

  • kristopher fine

    they really need to stop restructuring deals. i love Timmons, but his base salary and cap charge is ridiculous for a ILB. i think he is the highest paid ILB in the league and he has the biggest cap charge for any ILB in the league – the 35th biggest cap charge of any player in the league.


    Count me among them…I wouldn’t say the main issue, but when you’re asked to fill the shoes of the best NT to play in PIT in 3-4 era, you have to expect it to some degree….production was going to fall off.

    I’ve grown to respect his play recently and realize he is a valuable player…I’ve always felt he was better suited to play in a 4-3 DT role…quick gap penetrator, but not a 2 gap player.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Dave, I know Beachum got 2 bonuses because of playing time and performance. When will Bell be eligible for his bonuses? Are there any for a second rounder?

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Its tough to rebuild or reload with those restructures The alternative would have been nearly blowup the D 2 or 3 years ago and start from scratch. I would have been all for it then. Now you have pick your spots.

  • newguy68

    That’s a lot of Dead Money. Hopefully next year that will be gone.

  • Doug Halagich

    If Troy retires will there be any dead money either this year or next year? If he is cut how much dead money would there be against the cap?

  • gth

    Uh, the Woodley contract was horrible.
    The only decent contract we have is Antonio’s. Everything this team does is a joke. Just when you think they have learned, they do something stupid.
    Cortez didnt earn that contract and it’s pretty large.

    They could have cut Mitchell ( he deserves it) but they restructured him so we basically have to keep him for 2 more years no matter what.

    Then we have Ben. ( love Ben) but he’s never been the 2nd best QB in the league and he’s past his prime. But that’s how they are paying him.

    We have big resignings to do soon and I simply dont see how we are going to do it.

    We’re not getting any better, in fact our D has gotten worse.

    What’s the definition of insanity again?