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Looking at the contract numbers of Steelers players from Day 4 of free agency

The Steelers still made more moves on the fourth day since the start of the legal tampering period.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers got business going on Monday as they began to answer some of the questions with their 2022 roster. The second day was more of the same with the Steelers signing more of their own players as well as agreeing to terms with outside free agents. When the league year officially kicked 4 PM on Wednesday, the Steelers continued doing busniness, releasing a player and then adding another. Day 4 on Thursday saw another release and a signing, this time involving their own players from 2021.

So after more business on Thursday, how much will it cost the Steelers in 2022 and beyond?

Based on reports, let’s check out exactly where these contracts fell in terms of the salary cap for 2022. While some numbers over the four three days will be precise, others will have to be speculatory based on the overall contract and not knowing the exact breakdown of signing bonuses and the base salaries. For a recap of the salaries from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday check them out here:

Joe Schobert

Was due to cost $9.772 million

Although the news officially came on Thursday morning, it was pretty well-known the Steelers needed to move on from linebacker Joe Schobert and his large salary cap hit for 2022 when the team signed Myles Jack. Schobert was a very small cap number for the Steelers in 2021 at under $1.8 million, but jumping to $9.722 million for 2022 was more than what his production warranted. With such a small dead money hit, Schobert’s contract was the most money the Steelers could save against the salary cap by releasing a player in 2022. And just like Wednesday, because the Steelers also made another signing in Ahkello Witherspoon, the two players simply swapped positions in the top 51 and neither needed to be factored with salary displacement.

2022 salary cap savings (no displacement*): $7.834 million

*with an addition and subtraction the same day, they simply displaced each other

Ahkello Witherspoon

Reported $8 million for two years

This was a move which also seemed to be in the works for some time, but finally came about on Thursday. While the exact breakdown of Ahkello Witherspoon‘s contract is not known at this time, he was given the same total deal as Levi Wallace in the form of two years for $8 million. If the contract is the exact same breakdown as what Wallace received, Witherspoon is looking at a $1.035 million base salary and a $2.965 million signing bonus, bringing his salary cap hit two $2,517,500 for 2022. The only thing which would be different is if Witherspoon was paid more in the first year of the contract rather than having the money split evenly between the two years. For now, I will estimate the contract to be the same as Wallace but round up to $2.6 million just to be safe.

Estimated 2022 salary cap increase (no displacement*): $2.6 million

*with an addition and subtraction the same day, they simply displaced each other

After looking at all five of the players the Steelers reportedly added to their team on Monday, it cost approximately $12.8 million against their salary cap space for 2022. For just Tuesday, the three players came to an estimated total of approximately $6.25 million. After Wednesday, the Steelers saved on the salary cap with their two moves and added $0.25 million. Thursday was a big move in the positive direction with the Steelers saving approximately $5.2 million, giving a four-day total of using approximately $13.6 million. Remember, these values count after displacement, meaning they only count towards the salary cap the difference in salary of the player they knocked out of the top 51.

It’s hard to say if the Steelers will be slowing down when it comes to free agency over the weekend. The Steelers will have to eventually make some other roster moves at some point. With their remaining cap space, not including the salaries of Miles Killebrew and Arthur Maulet which have not been officially reported, the Steelers have used just about half of their cap space the had before free agency (approximately $27 million), and their remaining salary cap is right around what they will need for signing their draft class, the final two players on the roster come September, paying their practice squad, and having money to carry into the season for regular business. But notice three of those things do not come into affect until September, so even a last-minute contract extension, a restructure, or a higher-salaried player not making the roster could help to get to this amount even after the preseason is concluded. So for now, the Steelers still have the ability to manage things in regards to the 2022 salary cap.