Le’Veon Bell did not just leave the contents of his locker behind when he opted to sit out the remainder of Pittsburgh Steelers’ season, he also gave up the outstanding balance of the $14.544 million he had been due to earn in 2018.
With an update to the NFLPA public salary cap report on Friday, it would appear this money has officially been credited to their account. The Steelers now have $18,451,587 showing in available salary cap space, more than all but five teams in the league and while this money is of little use to Pittsburgh this season, it will be of great significance in 2019.
As per the rules of the CBA, the Steelers will be able to rollover every cent of their surplus cap room at the end of the year, a number that should include most of the funds currently available. Barring any unexpected signings to cover for season-ending injuries in the final weeks of the season, Pittsburgh will rollover far more money than ever before in their history.
Based on our projections from earlier in the season, this updated rollover figure suggests the Steelers will have over $26 million in salary cap space at the start of the new year, a number that will be practically closer to $20 million once the obligatory futures signings have been made to bring the roster up to 51 players under contract.
Considering how Pittsburgh’s cap situation could have looked in 2019 without the ability to rollover all this money, fans might ultimately be thanking Bell for his decision after all.