The Pittsburgh Steelers might be carrying more salary cap space than they typically have at this time of year, but that figure saw $550,000 taken off the top on Friday with an update to the NFLPA public salary cap report.
In a move first noted by Steelers salary cap specialist Ian Whetstone of Steel City Insider, it would appear the long anticipated injury protection benefit claim for former tight end Ladarius Green has finally hit the books. As per the collective bargaining agreement, Green was eligible for this insurance payout having suffered an injury severe enough to miss the final game of the 2016 season and one that would ultimately lead to his release in May of 2017 after a failed physical.
With Green unable to find a place with a new team since being let go because of this injury, the Steelers were obliged to pay him a percentage of the money he would have earned from his previous contract with them. Last year, this resulted in Green receiving a payment of $1.15 million from Pittsburgh and the $550,000 for 2018 represents the final payment they will have to make in regard to his injury.
This is not the first time the injury protection benefit clause of the CBA has impacted the Steelers and many will remember the team going through a similar thing with Shaun Suisham after he injured his knee in a preseason game in 2015 and never played again.
With Le'Veon Bell bleeding over $855,000 a week back into the Steelers' salary cap on a weekly basis thanks to his holdout, this debit for Green is less significant than it might have been in years past. According to the NFLPA, Pittsburgh is still $11,267,435 under the cap as of Saturday, with another installment from their absentee running back set to return to the account later in the day.