Much ado was made of the Steelers salary cap predicament this offseason, but after several releases, contract restructuring and even a free agent signing or two, a source cited by NFL.com lists the Steelers as having $3,734,063 in cap space for the 2012 season.
That figure ranks 27th in the NFL in terms of total availability. Certainly, though $3.7 million is enough to take their current roster into the season, with the ability to sign other players in the case of injury.
It does provide some clarity into the No. 1 topic this offseason, WR Mike Wallace's negotiation.
This number represents a position that even with an extension, Wallace is not going to make significant money this season. With the amount of money the Steelers have guaranteed through the form of contract restructures with several players, it's highly unlikely they'd ask anyone else to restructure their contract for the sake of giving Wallace a big signing bonus in 2012.
It does show, however, some complication behind the potential release of OT Jonathan Scott, particularly if the goal is to add Max Starks back to the roster.
The release of Scott has been something called for often by readers of BTSC. The addition of Mike Adams through the draft, and positive reports of Starks' rehabilitation from a torn ACL suffered in January, suggests it's more likely than not Scott makes the roster this season.
Assuming Starks would take a veteran minimum deal this season, Scott's $2 million plus Starks' contract would be more costly than just signing Starks and keeping Scott on the roster.
That would cost a roster spot, but at the same time, keeping a veteran like Scott around helps push a rookie like Adams. Even if Adams is named the starting left tackle, experienced players behind him will push him to earn and continue to earn that position.
Starks would be the back-up left tackle, most likely, and Scott would back-up Marcus Gilbert at right tackle.
(nod to SteelerAddicts for pointing this one out)