While the Pittsburgh Steelers might not know who they will ultimately end up selecting in the 2019 NFL Draft, they should already have a good idea what they will be paying them. Thanks to a sliding scale for rookie contracts agreed to under the terms of the CBA, every team effectively knows the contractual value of each draft pick long before they make the selection.
Using figures generated by OverTheCap.com, a site that has proved to be extremely accurate at projecting the value of rookie contracts each year, we can now also work out how much the players will cost the Steelers in each round as well.
All picks will earn the league minimum as a base salary in year one and all but those selected in the first and second rounds will also the earn NFL’s salary for each of their remaining years under contract. The most significant difference in contract value coming from the signing bonus associated with each deal.
With the minimum salary counting against Pittsburgh’s salary cap currently $570,000 under the Rule of 51, the only rookies who will have any real impact on the Steelers cap position are those with a higher cap hit in year-one of their deals. And while the prorated signing bonus amount for each player needs to be accounted for against the cap regardless, this effectively means that only those selected before round four will use up any significant amount of cap space.
For a team just $6,201,131 under the cap at the time of writing, according to the NFLPA public salary cap report, fans should take comfort in knowing that the 2019 draft class should only use up $2,777,280 in available salary cap space this year.