Initial Salary Cap Implications Of Matt Spaeth’s Release

The Pittsburgh Steelers released veteran tight end Matt Spaeth with the failed physical designation on Thursday after he couldn’t fully recover from offseason knee surgery. While it won’t be much, the Steelers will initially clear a little salary cap space as part of that release while we wait to see if Spaeth will ultimately file for an injury protection benefit payout.

Spaeth was scheduled to earn a $1 million base salary in 2016 as part of the two-year, $2.2 million contract that he signed in 2015. The Steelers will incur a dead money charge of $137,500 in 2016 as part of Spaeth being released on Thursday as that was the remaining prorated amount of the $275,000 signing bonus he had received.

After roster displacement takes place in the Steelers top 51 salaries, the team will initially see a cap savings of $475,000 by releasing Spaeth. As previously noted, Spaeth “might” be able to qualify for an injury protection benefit payout much like veteran kicker Shaun Suisham, who was released by the Steelers with the failed physical designation several weeks ago.

According to the NFLPA’s public salary cap report, the Steelers had $3,815,481 in available salary cap space heading into Thursday. After today’s release of Spaeth, that figure should be $4,290,481 when the transaction hits the books.