The Pittsburgh Steelers needed to add depth to the inside linebacker position after watching Terence Garvin go to the Washington Redskins and Sean Spence go to the Tennessee Titans via Free Agency. The main issue remains the team's current salary cap status. The Steelers are near the top of the list, in terms of teams with very little cap space remaining. Therefore, when they added Steven Johnson to their roster, the price had to be right.
See the details of Johnson's deal:
Steven Johnson Steelers deal: $840,000, $25,000 signing bonus, $760,000 salary, $55,000 first game 53-man roster bonus— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 28, 2016
The deal was very friendly for the Steelers, as Johnson getting a small signing bonus of $25 thousand dollars, and a potential contract of $840,000 dollars depending on if he makes the team's 53-man roster and earns his $55 thousand dollar bonus.
The Steelers current cap situation is likely to change in the coming weeks and months, but probably not as some fans would like. The majority of fans would love to see Cortez Allen cut, and Shaun Suisham to be traded, but the reality is those moves are unlikely to happen -- at least right now.
There is no harm in giving Allen another shot to prove himself in training camp, and if it doesn't work out he can be released and the team will still have to carry dead money on the books. As for Suisham, if he is healthy and accurate after ACL surgery last year, there will be teams willing to make a trade for the veteran kicker.
The most likely way the Steelers will free up salary cap space is through their yearly re-structuring process. Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey would both be very viable candidates to re-structure their current contracts to help alleviate the Steelers' current salary cap stress and help the team possibly sign other free agents, and their rookie class, heading into the 2016 season.