Since the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between the NFL and the Players Association, rookie contracts are much more straightforward and locked in for players selected in the NFL draft. In a players first season, they will receive a predetermined base salary for players with no years experience, as well as a specified signing bonus based on what overall position the player was drafted.
For the nine player selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2021 NFL draft, their base salary is $660k. How much the player receives as a signing bonus will be divided up over their four-year contract and that amount will go towards their number for the 2021 salary cap. These numbers have already been published by places such as overthecap.com and spotrac.com. While the numbers vary ever so slightly from the two different sources, all of the picks for the Steelers are either the same for both sources or within $5 of each other.
Since the Steelers draft picks will be signing their contracts any day now, let’s take a look at what is to be expected for their deals. According to an Instagram post on Friday evening, Quincy Roche was the first Steelers 2021 draft pick to sign his contract.
Based on the reported salary cap cost for each draft picks, their exact signing bonus can be estimated. So here are those numbers, specifically using overthecap.com. The calculated signing bonus is determined by taking the 2021 salary cap number, subtracting the $660k base salary, and multiplying by four as the cap hit will be spread out over the four years of the contract.
2021 salary cap number: $2,372,268
Calculated signing bonus: $6,849,072
2021 salary cap number: $1,096,034
Calculated signing bonus: $1,744,136
2021 salary cap number: $886,502
Calculated signing bonus: $906,008
Dan Moore Jr
2021 salary cap number: $834,476
Calculated signing bonus: $697,904
2021 salary cap number: $784,836
Calculated signing bonus: $499,344
2021 salary cap number: $740,072
Calculated signing bonus: $320,288
2021 salary cap number: $696,644
Calculated signing bonus: $146,576
2021 salary cap number: $683,610
Calculated signing bonus: $94,440
Pressley Harvin III
2021 salary cap number: $680,183
Calculated signing bonus: $80,732
Although one might think they could just take the totals of all the salary cap numbers for the Steelers rookies and have a good idea how much it will cost, only the top three or four players will actually land in the top 51. It was only going to be three contracts originally, but with the release of Trevor Williams following the draft there will be four of the Steelers draft picks landing in the top 51 if no other roster moves are made. After calculating displacement, the rookie draft class is only going to count just over $2.04 million towards the 2021 salary cap during the offseason based on the projected numbers at overthecap.com.