The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team who has been wheeling and dealing throughout the offseason. Whether it was getting Ben Roethlisberger to sign a new contract, acquiring players like Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram and Joe Schobert or any number of other moves, they have been able to manipulate the decreased salary cap with the best of them.
With the team heading into the final two weeks of the NFL Preseason, they have created even more salary cap space by restructuring the contract of defensive end Stephon Tuitt.
This per Field Yates of ESPN:
The Steelers converted $7.925M of DL Stephon Tuitt’s 2021 base salary into a signing bonus, creating $6.34M in 2021 cap space.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 16, 2021
Even after the trade for Joe Schobert, Pittsburgh has good cap flexibility to operate throughout the season.
According to Yates, the Steelers converted $7.925 million of Tuitt’s 2021 base salary into a signing bonus. This created an extra $6.34 million in 2021 cap space. Based on the reported numbers, the Steelers would had to have added three void years onto its contract in order to save the $6.34 million.
The other interesting part of Tuitt’s contract is the fact he was due to earn more than $500k from the NFL by being under contract for 17th game since his deal was signed under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). If this is simply a typical restructure, and the Steelers did not add any additional amount, Tuitt ultimately took more than a half million dollar pay cut. Players whose contracts fall under the previous CBA but have a league minimum base salary are not eligible for extra pay for a 17th game as outlined in the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Tuitt is coming off a career year where he registered 11 sacks, the first time he reached double digit sacks in his career. With Tuitt, he and Cameron Heyward make up the best defensive end duos, for a 3-4 scheme, in the NFL.
What will the Steelers do with this extra salary cap space? Is it to sign T.J. Watt to the mega deal many expect? Is it to find a way to bring in players who might be getting cut by their current NFL team? That has yet to be seen, but you should stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for not just the rest of training camp and preseason, but also the 2021 regular season.