While it likely isn't enough space to go after soon-to-be-released cornerback Darrelle Revis or anyone of that magnitude, the Steelers sit with enough cap space heading into the start of the league year to think they will be able to bring in a moderately priced free agent or two, and even keep a few of the ones they have pending themselves.
Ike Taylor's recent paycut saved $4.75 million on this year's cap, which puts the Steelers at about $8.1 million under with just hours until the start of free agency (4 p.m. ET Tuesday). There is still the possibility of coming to terms on a long-term deal with transition-tagged linebacker Jason Worilds, who currently is counting for $9.75 million against the cap - the third-highest figure on the team (Ben Roethlisberger is at $18.9 and Lawrence Timmons is at $11.8).
A reasonable deal can be worked out with Worilds to reduce the Steelers cap number even more, as it doesn't seem in the Steelers' best interest to carry him into the season without a long-term deal (thus risking the same problem of not having him locked up next year). If they're willing to go as far as to guarantee him $9.75 million for this season, they may as well get a few more years out of it.
It would seem logical Worilds wants the same thing, especially since LaMarr Woodley will be released as a post-June 1 designation, thus giving him a starting job. If that deal is struck before 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, the Steelers could be looking at around $12.5 million in cap space - depending on what Worilds would need to sign. It seems like the two sides are on roughly the same page, considering Worilds accepted his tag designation almost immediately, meaning he passed on his right to enter the free agency market.
Should the Steelers free up that much cap space before the start of free agency, it would be largely suggestive they're looking to make moves, especially considering the $8 million in relief they'll get after June 1, when Woodley's salary comes off the books. At that point, they can sign their draft class, as well as patch any other roster holes still remaining after the draft and free agency.
But with a possible $20 million in net space (based on the hypothetical moves above), the Steelers have to be thinking of adding a few players now and around the start of training camp.