The National Football League is preparing for the 2022 campaign, even though the 2021 regular season still has four weeks left to play. The first step for the league is to set the salary cap for the upcoming season, this to allow NFL teams to plan accordingly for the start of the new league year, which is also the start of free agency.
After the 2020 season the NFL was forced to do something they hadn’t done before, and that was drop their salary cap. Since being introduced this was the first time the cap dropped, and settled at $183 million dollars per club. The good news is the expected balloon of the cap seems to be coming to fruition. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the league has notified teams of the 2022 cap number of $208.2 million dollars.
As expected, the NFL informed clubs the 2022 salary cap is projected to be $208.2 million, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 14, 2021
The next logical question for Pittsburgh Steelers fans is how much space will the team have in free agency next season? There are a lot of factors, but our local cap guru, Dave Schofield, broke it down to a basic number.
According to Schofield, the Stat Geek, here is a quick breakdown:
With 43 players under contract, including ones you technically aren’t under contract but have void years like Ben Roethlisberger and Eric Ebron, the Steelers have $174,206,171 in total liabilities, according to Over The Cap.
That’s $34 million in cap space, but right now they have almost another $9 million in carryover.
Do the simple math and the Steelers would be right around the $43 million dollar number in regards to cap space, but it is worth noting that number can get larger. For instance, the team could save $7.834 million if they cut linebacker Joe Schobert. And that would only be a $1.888 million dead money hit to their 2022 cap number.
This number will fluctuate, but the league is getting plans for 2022 in order and, for once, it looks like the Steelers will have some money to play with in free agency.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Tennessee Titans in Week 15.