With the recent futures contracts added the Steelers sit around $139,772,000 in salary for all the players under contract and carry dead money of about $4,551,000 into 2014. Additionally they have around $1,320,000 in left over money to roll over from the 2013 cap against the 2014 cap.
There are currently 61 players under contract for 2014 with the two recent signings of Vic So'oto and Tauren Poole. As only the top 51 count for Salary Cap purposes we can remove an additional $4,200,000 off the total (Ten lowest salaries each at $420,000).
With this in mind it is worth noting for any player cut on a salary in excess of $420,000 would be replaced in the 51 by a salary of this amount meaning the true figure of any cut is the number listed below minus $420,000.
The Steelers go into the off season with a total cap number of about $138,803,000. With the cap estimated to be around $126,300,000 that leaves them approximately $12,503,000 over the cap as of today (Exact figures at the bottom).
These figures are very unlikely to change between now and the start of the new football year outside of a futures signing above the minimum or a change to the estimated cap figure for 2014.
A few notes about the Steelers cap charges:
- Heath Miller currently has the highest cap hit for any TE in the league under contract for 2014
- Lawrence Timmons currently has the highest cap hit for any ILB
- LaMarr Woodley currently has the 2nd highest cap hit for any OLB
- Troy Polamalu currently has the 2nd highest cap hit for any S
- Ben Roethlisberger currently has the 4th highest cap hit for any QB
- Ike Taylor currently has the 4th highest cap hit for any CB
- Maurkice Pouncey currently has the 9th highest cap hit for any C
The Steelers spend $67.1 million of their salary cap on just 5 players or 53% if you prefer. This is the highest amount of any team in the league when comparing salaries of the top 5 players under contract.
It would seem fair to say that restructuring contracts in the past is having a noticeable impact on this years salary cap.
On first look it seems the Steelers do not have a lot of depth at many positions as they head into the new year and look to have holes everywhere. Not news to any Steeler fan. With such a top heavy pay scale though there does not seem much dead weight lower down the pay scale worth cutting given their relatively low salaries and the rule of 51 mentioned above. The Steelers have a lot of cheap players and a good number of expensive ones but not much in the middle.
However much I may think for example Chris Carter, David Paulson and Curtis Brown are a waste of time the actual cap saving by cutting them all is only $588,526 combined.
Looking ahead to 2015 the Steelers only have 24 players under contract, the second lowest number in the league after the Raiders (21), and are estimated to be around $45,000,000 under the cap. In 2016 the Steelers have a mere 11 players under contract fourth only to the Jaguars, Giants and Broncos (10 each) and a massive $80,000,000 in cap space.
The obvious way out of this years hole, along with cutting Levi Brown and his hefty $6,250,000 salary (13th of all LT under contract for 2014), would be to restructure one more time. Restructuring Brown, Timmons and Roethlisberger alone would get the Steelers a fair way under the cap. With such sizable cap room in the next few seasons the Steelers could afford these restructures and be in a position to redo Roethlisbergers deal heading into its final year in 2015 facing what would be a sizable cap hit.
If the Steelers chose to extend, reduce or cut the contracts of Heath, Troy or Ike then the cap savings could be huge and put the Steelers in a position to make a run at Worilds if they wanted, extend the contracts of players like Cortez Allen and Pouncey or to be players in the free agent market for once.
The next few years will be a big challenge for Kevin Colbert and the rest of the Steelers backroom staff in shaping what will be a very different looking team.
|Name||Cap Figure In 2014||Saving If Cut||Contract Yrs Left|
|Adjustment for 51||-$4,200,000|
|Roll Over from 2013 Salary Cap||-$1,319,803|
|Salary Cap Total||$138,804,045|
|Expected 2014 Cap||$126,300,000|