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Steelers projected to have the most salary cap space in the NFL in 2022

The Pittsburgh Steelers could go from the cellar to the penthouse, as it pertains to salary cap space, in 2022.

NFL: Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers were in dire straits entering the 2021 season, as it pertains to their salary cap situation. They weren’t alone, but they had to do things they had never done, like add void years into contracts, but they were able to navigate the uncomfortable space and retain several of their own free agents.

The hope is the salary cap, which dipped for the first time in league history in 2021, will rebound in a big way in 2022. And if those projections are true, the Steelers could find themselves on the better side of the financial ledger. A recent report, based on projections, from the All Sports Culture, has the Steelers with the most salary cap space in the league.

Check out the numbers:

Steelers fans likely see the $74 million dollars in cap space and get excited thinking about the possibilities, but there should be a huge asterisk put next to the Steelers name on the aforementioned chart.

The Steelers will have to pay some big time free agents next season, and the biggest name among them will be T.J. Watt. But decisions on players like Ben Roethlisberger, who has void years tacked onto his contract, and Terrell Edmunds also loom over the organization.

Check out the Steelers who have void years in their contract, or are Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) after 2021:

Ben Roethlisberger — VOID
JuJu Smith-Schuster — VOID
Eric Ebron — VOID
Joe Haden — UFA
David DeCastro — UFA
Terrell Edmunds — UFA
T.J. Watt — UFA
Kam Canaday — UFA
Cassius Marsh — UFA
B.J. Finney — UFA
Miles Killebrew — UFA
James Washington — UFA
Vince Williams — UFA
Jordan Berry — UFA
Chuks Okorafor — UFA
Jaylen Samuels — UFA
Ray-Ray McCloud — UFA
Joshua Dobbs — UFA

Even if the Steelers choose to pay Watt handsomely, bring back Roethlisberger and retain players like Okorafor and Edmunds, it is unlikely those contracts would take up all of the projected $74 million dollars of cap space.

Either way, the Steelers could be in a completely different situation compared to 2021, and that could be an exciting possibility for the usually cap-strapped Steelers organization. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.