OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 16: DeMarcus Van Dyke #23 of the Oakland Raiders breaks up this pass to Greg Little #15 of the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter of an NFL football game at O.co Coliseum on October 16, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Per information obtained by Pro Football Talk, the Steelers have $1.6 million available in salary cap space as of Sept. 7. This would count the recent contract signed by CB DeMarcus Van Dyke. Specifics of that deal were not released.
According to Pro Football Talk, that figure is more or less fluid, and will change with the start of the regular season, when all 53 contracts of players on the roster count against it. With a rookie minimum contract being around $200,000, you could assume the Steelers would have around $1.1 million available.
A thought earlier suggested the possibility of giving an extension to RB Rashard Mendenhall, and if Mendenhall did not want a raise on his 2012 salary to go along with that extension, it still could work.
The point, though, is the Steelers successfully navigated a difficult offseason in terms of new contracts, extensions, releases and RFA tags, and still have enough breathing room to sign a free agent in the event one is needed.
Interestingly, the AFC North is divided down the middle in terms of available cap space.
The Baltimore Ravens are a step below the Steelers at $1.4 million (I could swear someone told me about all the cap space the Ravens have). The Cincinnati Bengals are at $10.4 million, and the Browns have the sixth-most cap space in the NFL at $13.4 million. It's likely the main reason the Browns have as much space is because they don't currently have players worth signing to larger contracts.