The Pittsburgh Steelers have been up against the NFL salary cap since the new league year started in March. The team cut cap-clogging players such as Mark Barron and Anthony Chickillo while restructuring the contracts of multiple players to get cap compliant. The Steelers needed such moves and they still need to make more moves before the start of the season. While the team is $5.7 million under the cap, there is still a host of expenses which need to be accounted for that are not showing up on the team’s ledger at Over the Cap.
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$5.7 million: Current cap space
$1.3 million: Rookie pool. (This is an estimate by OTC that includes displacement.)
$1.2 million: 52nd and 53 players not included now because of the Rule of 51. ($610,000 minimum salary)
$1.7 million: Practice squad. (The practice squad expands to 12 players and they earn a minimum of $8,400 per week with no maximum.)
$5 million: Carryover ($4 million) and another $1 million for players who may be called up from the practice squad to fill the 55 man roster on game days (estimate).
Total: $9.2 million
All figures provided by Over the Cap.
The Steelers are not out of the woods yet as the above projections have the team about $3.5 million over the cap by the start of the season. The issue is, the $3.5 million could balloon up depending on how many minimum salary guys make the roster, or the gap could narrow with jettisoning higher salary players. Another way the Steelers can get cap relief is to extend some players who are entering the last year of their contracts.
How do you think the Steelers end up getting under the cap prior to Week 1? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.