Over The Cap, a salary cap accounting web site, reports Monday the Steelers, in the post-June 1 environment, are $7,862,896 under the 2014 NFL Salary Cap. This figure includes the release of outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and the displacement occurring with his removal from the payroll.
It does not account for the four rookies that need to be signed, and will likely be signed in the very near future.
BTSC's Simon Chester estimates the remaining rookies will take up $2.018 million of that cap space, meaning the Steelers have roughly $5.8 million in space.
These numbers get tossed around frequently and it's hard to provide a precise figure, but generally speaking, it's fair to call it $5.8 million, as long as reservations for an extra few bucks here and there are made.
So what do the Steelers do with it?
They can use the space as part of contract extensions for current players. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be the prime target, although granting Roethlisberger the extension he's looking for may not be in the team's best short-term financial interest.
Same goes for outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who's playing the 2014 season under the team's transition tag. He'll make $9.75 million, fully guaranteed. There just isn't enough from Worilds right now to determine his long-term value, and it appears more likely he'll play the season on the tag as opposed to getting a long-term extension.
An extension for either of them, or both, is certainly possible, though.
Looking ahead, the Steelers' two main players scheduled to hit free agency in 2015, center Maurkice Pouncey and cornerback Cortez Allen, will get consideration for an extension. Considering the size of contract given to transition-tagged Alex Mack by Jacksonville, and ultimately matched by the Cleveland Browns, it would appear Pouncey would want something along the line of his deal. The Steelers would be hard-pressed to be in that ballpark now.
Allen appears to be in a better position to receive an extension. The Steelers have been developing him over the last three years, and his success so far doesn't put him within the highest realm of contract value for one of the most expensive positions in the league.
There are free agents still available as well, including former Steelers James Harrison, Santonio Holmes and Brett Keisel. There's no guarantee any of them will return but they are possible options.