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Updating the Steelers’ salary cap situation after the signing of Melvin Ingram

The reported salary uses up the room the Steelers had when taking into account other expenses for 2021.

Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

On Monday, it was reported the Steelers signed former Pro Bowl edge rusher Melvin Ingram to a one-year deal.

Although the financials were not immediately available, it has been reported by Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com that the deal is worth $4 million.

Assuming this is the salary cap number for Ingram and there is nothing else included in the deal (such as void years), Ingram will bump Dan Moore Jr. out of the top 51 contracts. After the displacement, Ingram will count less than $3.2 million towards the Steelers salary cap.

Now where do the Steelers currently stand with the 2021 salary cap? Before free agency kicked off, the Steelers were little more than $6 million under the salary cap. Since then, the number has fluctuated due to various moves.

To determine how much each player changes the Steelers’ salary cap space, their cap number must be adjusted due to roster displacement. As a reminder, roster displacement is taking into account only the top 51 contracts for a team count towards the salary cap during the offseason. As a larger contract comes on the books, it bumps a smaller contract out of the top 51. Therefore, it’s only the difference in those contracts that increases the salary cap number.

Here is the approximate breakdown of the Steelers salary cap space based on recent moves by my own calculations. The numbers are strictly the salary cap hit, or change from what it previously was, for each player in 2021.


Steelers salary cap space heading into free agency: Approximately $6 million

Ray-Ray McCloud: Reported $1 million salary; After displacement: -$0.34 million
B.J. Finney: Reported $987,500; After displacement: -$0.3275 million
Cam Sutton: New report of $1.7 million; After displacement: -$1.04 million
Zach Banner: Reported $2.875 million; After displacement: -$2.215 million
Vince Williams: Saved $4 million salary; After displacement: +$3.34 million
Chris Wormley: Reported $1.6 million; After displacement: -$0.94 million
JuJu Smith-Schuster: Reported $2.4 million; After displacement: -$1.74 million
Tyler Simmons: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Joe Haeg: Reported $1.5 million; After displacement: -$0.84 million
Miles Killebrew: Reported $987,500; After displacement: -$0.3275 million
Steven Nelson: Saved $8.25 million salary; After displacement: +$7.59 million
Cassius Marsh: Reported $950,000; After displacement: -$0.17 million
Eric Ebron: Reportedly saved $3.904; No roster displacement: +$3.904 million
Tyson Alualu: Reported $2.0375 million; After displacement: -$1.2575 million
Jordan Berry: Reported $950,000; After displacement: -$0.17 million
Kalen Ballage: Reported $920,000; After displacement: -$0.14 million
Rashaard Coward: Reported $850,000; After displacement: -$0.07 million
Matthew Sexton: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Jarvis Miller: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Jamir Jones: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
T.J. Carter: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Abdullah Anderson: Reported $780k; not in the top 51: -$0
Vince Williams: Reported $850,000; After displacement: -$0.07 million
Joshua Dobbs: Reported $900,000; After displacement: -$0.12 million
Mason Rudolph: Reported $2,193,066 cap number; After increase: -$0.945199 million
Dan Moore Jr: Reported $834,475; After displacement: -$0.054475 million
Buddy Johnson: Reported $784,836; After displacement: -$0.004836 million
Arthur Maulet: Reported $850,000; After displacement: -$0.067 million
Pat Friermuth: Reported $1,096,033; After displacement: -$0.311197 million
Najee Harris: Reported $2,372,263; After displacement: -$1.568887 million
Offseason Workouts: 90 players x $275/day x 32 days: -$0.792 million
David DeCastro: Saved $8.25 million salary; After displacement: +$7.946624 million
Trai Turner: Reported $3 million; After displacement: -$2.196624 million
Melvin Ingram: Reported $4 million; After displacement: -$3.165525 million

Approximate salary cap space: Approximately $9.9 million

Note: Miles Killebrew was the final contract displacing a $660k salary. From Cassius Marsh on, the displacement is a $780k salary. Buddy Johnson was the final contract displacing a $780k salary, so from that point on the contracts will vary which will be displaced.


So where does this number compare to those reported by the major salary cap websites?

According to overthecap.com, the Steelers are $13,139,993 under the salary cap. OTC has accounted for all other Steelers’ moves, so once they get Ingram’s contract on the books their number will be extremely similar to mine just as it was before the move.

Another credible salary cap website is spotrac.com, which has the Steelers at $14,733,320 under the cap. It should be noted that Spotrac does not have Ingram’s contract or the offseason workouts on the books at this time. Another discrepancy comes from where they are counting the prorated signing bonuses of players not in the top 51 toward the salary cap. One very big discrepancy is spotrac has Trai Turner’s contract including four void years which has not been reported by any other outlet. If adjusting for these things, their number is also about the same as mine.

As for the Steelers’ only other player not counting toward the salary cap, Kendrick Green’s contract will slide into the top 51 once signed and will ultimately bump out one of the eight contracts which have a cap hit of $850k. The ultimate cost after displacement for Green’s contract will now be about $36k once it gets made official.

Also, the Steelers will need about an additional $9.5 million come September when they need to account for all 53 players on the roster, sign their practice squad, and have some carryover in order to do business throughout the year. This number is dependent on the NFL going with a 16-man practice squad, and the exact players the Steelers release when they cut down their roster on August 31.

The Steelers have now spent the majority of the money saved from the release of David DeCastro last month. As training camp kicks off this week, the Steelers are not in a situation where they will still need to cut salary cap space before the season unless they make another significant signing.