The target of the 2014 NFL salary cap is becoming clearer.
And it's good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
USA Today reporter Tom Pelissero wrote Thursday, "barring a significant, unexpected audit issue, the cap should be set by Monday and fall between $132 million and $133 million," citing a source that requested anonymity.
Pelissero put the Steelers cap number at $138.7, one of only two teams that would mot be in cap compliance as of Thursday. Dallas is projected to be at $150.9 million.
It's almost eerie how close the Steelers may end up being to the cap, considering the obvious move of releasing offensive tackle Levi Brown and his $6.25 million cap number. With that move, the Steelers could be less than $1 million from projected cap estimates.
It's almost as if the Steelers knew what they were doing and projected with a high degree of accuracy where the cap would be, even as all armchair capologists told everyone willing to listen they were in the fifth threshold of cap hell.
Maybe they are able to do this after all.
Still, there are moves to make outside just Brown, the lowest hanging fruit. But the key issue with the team now is a much higher level of flexibility than they've had in the past. Cap issues aside, just from a purely financial perspective, Troy Polamalu's salary of $8.25 million is higher than they'd like to pay, and with leverage on their side, creating a new deal resolves that issue. It also saves enough to get them under the cap with a few million to spare.
Judging by how accurately it appears they projected the cap to be internally, perhaps there are more moves the team anticipated making this offseason. After all, the players under contract are still 8-8.