The numbers behind the new contract the Pittsburgh Steelers executed with Vince Williams last week officially hit the books on Monday, and it would appear the deal hasn't used up too much of the team’s limited salary cap space in 2018.
As first reported by salary cap specialist Ian Whetstone of Steel City Insider, the figures posted on the NFLPA contract database confirm a contract worth $20.6 million that included a signing bonus worth $6.4 million. Base salaries of $800,000 in 2018, $2.2 million in 2019 and $4 million in 2020 and 2021 are accompanied by roster bonuses worth $300,000 this season and $2.9 million the following year.
While the base salary that Williams was originally due to earn under the terms of his previous contract has become part of this new deal, the pre-existing, prorated signing bonus amount of $500,000 must still be accounted for this year. This results in a prorated bonus figure of $2.1 million for 2018, as per the graphic above.
The contract might lack the literal guarantees that a player like Le’Veon Bell would probably have wanted to see, but the structure of the deal effectively guarantees Williams he will not get cut before 2020 and, more likely, not until 2021, if at all. Cap savings of only $1.9 million in 2019 against dead money of $4.8 million or savings of $2.4 million in 2020 against dead money of $3.2 million offer Williams more than enough security, given the way the Steelers normally do business with their veteran players.
Originally set to cost the Steelers $2.5 million against the cap this season, this new deal has effectively used up only an extra $700,000 of the team’s limited salary-cap space. The NFLPA public salary cap report currently has Pittsburgh listed as $3,266,053 under the cap, but that figure should change in the coming days when the numbers behind the new contract for Chris Boswell officially hit the account.