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|
|Player||Base Salary||Cap Charge|
|Mitchell Van Dyk||$435,000||$435,000|
|Total 69 Players Under Contract||$84,112,432||$135,234,075|
|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|