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A look at the expected cap costs to sign the 2014 draft class

While the Steelers might be low on cap space right now when LaMarr Woodley comes of the books after June 1st they will have more than enough to sign their draft class which should cost less than you might think.

Joe Sargent

Originally run April 15, 2014

As reported earlier the Steelers have a little over $380,000 in cap space. Barely enough to sign a couple of free agents on a qualifying veteran minimum contract at the moment.

With the draft moved back to early May this year the Steelers will be well positioned however to sign their draft class before camp opens thanks to the cap space they will receive when LaMarr Woodley's salary is wiped off the accounts ledger for salary cap purposes after June 1st.

After displacement the loss of Woodley will create an additional $7.505 million in cap space that will be needed in part to sign what looks to be nine selections right now in the upcoming draft.

Using estimate rookie contract figures provided by OverTheCap, who were incredibly accurate with their projections last year, these would be the salaries for the new draft picks that would count against the cap for the lengths of their contracts. That is presuming the Steelers stay in each of these slots come draft day.

2014 Rookie Salary Cap Hit Projections
Round/Pick 2014 2015 2016 2017
1.15 $1,859,782 $2,324,727 $2,789,672 $3,254,617
2.14 $879,998 $1,099,997 $1,319,996 $1,539,995
3.33 $559,187 $649,187 $739,187 $829,187
4.18 $540,814 $630,814 $720,814 $810,814
5.17 $472,277 $562,277 $652,277 $742,277
5.33 $459,763 $549,763 $639,763 $729,763
6.16 $448,841 $538,841 $628,841 $718,841
6.39 $441,642 $531,642 $621,642 $711,642
7.15 $436,339 $526,339 $616,339 $706,339
Total $6,098,643 $7,413,587 $8,728,531 $10,043,475

Despite a total cost of $6,098,643 in actual dollars to sign the 2014 draft class for their first year the practical figure for salary cap purposes will actually be much lower.

Currently the lowest salary include in the Steelers cap figures is $495,000. Consequently any pick drafted in the 5th round or below will not count against the salary cap for accounting purposes except for the pro rated signing bonus part of their new deal.

Additionally the top four picks will displace four players currently counting against the cap out of the top 51 which would amount to a total of $1.98 million.

What this means in numbers terms is, after all the salary cap accounting procedures are taken into consideration, the cap hit of the draft class will come out as $2,018,643 which is possibly a fair bit lower than some might have expected.