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Updating the Steelers’ salary cap situation after the first week of free agency

After their latest moves, how much space do the Steelers have under the 2022 salary cap?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been making moves every day of free agency. With 16 moves and counting since I first reported where I would begin the Steelers salary cap space for the 2022 offseason, it is time for an update.

So where do the Steelers currently stand with the 2022 salary cap after the first week of free agency? Before free agency kicked off, the Steelers were at almost $29 million under the salary cap. Since then, the Steelers have made a number of moves in adding players, offering tenders, and releasing players.

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 their recent moves by my own calculations. The numbers are strictly the salary cap hit for each player in 2022. Players who were released, well given a tender, or had their exact salary reported are indicated below and the precise numbers are known. The players who did not, I use their overall contract to estimate what their salary cap hit will be for 2022. When their exact numbers are reported, I will adjust things accordingly. But for now, it is simply my best guess. The estimated numbers are for the contracts of Mitch Trubisky, Mason Cole, Montravius Adams, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Gunner Olszewski.

(UPDATE: Since publishing, Gunner Olszewki has a reported cap hit of $1.5825 million, replacing the $1.6 million estimated amount)

(NOTE: Unless indicated, all reported salaries displaced a $825k salary. For the estimated salaries, they will be displacing an $895k salary as they are the next group to come out of the top 51.)


Steelers salary cap space heading into free agency: Approximately $28.8 million

Dwayne Haskins: Tendered $2.54 million salary; After displacement: -$1.715 million
Miles Killebrew: Reported $1.5175 million; After displacement: -$0.6925 million
Arthur Maulet: Reported $1.535 million; After displacement: -$0.71 million
Mitch Trubisky: ESTIMATED $4.1 million; After displacement: -$3.205 million
Mason Cole: ESTIMATED $3.5 million; After displacement: -$2.605 million
Chuks Okorafor: Reported $4.333333 million; After displacement: -$3.508333 million
Robert Spillane: Tendered $2.433 million salary; After displacement: -$1.608 million
Marcus Allen: Tendered $2.54 million salary; After displacement: -$1.715 million
James Daniels: Reported $4.166666 million; After displacement: -$3.341666 million
Levi Wallace: Reported $2.5175 million; After displacement*: -$1.672317 million
Montravius Adams: ESTIMATED $2 million; After displacement: -$1.105 million
Zach Banner: Saved $5 million salary; After displacement: +$4.175 million
Myles Jack: Reported $4.75 million; After displacement*: -$3.90139 million
Joe Schobert: Saved $7.834 million salary; After displacement: +$7.009 million
Ahkello Witherspoon: ESTIMATED $2.6 million; After displacement: -$1.705 million
Gunner Olszewski: (UPDATE) Reported $1.5825 million; After displacement+: -$0.6875 million

Approximate salary cap space: Approximately $11.8 million

*The salaries displaced by these two contracts were $845,183 (Tre Norwood) and $848,610 (Pressley Harvin)

+A $895k contract was displaced


So where does this number compare to those reported by the major salary cap websites (at the original time of publishing, before any potential updates)?

According to overthecap.com, the Steelers are $21,061,376 under the salary cap. OTC has all of the above reported contracts on the books, but none of the estimated contracts. Once factoring them in, we have the same number.

Another credible salary cap website is spotrac.com, which has the Steelers at $21,968,717 under the cap. Spotrac does not have the same estimated contracts as OTC as well as the contracts of Killebrew and Maulet. Additionally, Spotrac does not have the offseason workouts counting against the salary cap at this time.

While the Steelers are going to need cap space for a number of things this offseason, it doesn’t have to be at this time. Following the NFL draft, the Steelers will begin signing their draft picks and are estimated to need $2.6 million in cap space once figuring roster displacement after the exact draft positions are known with the announcement of compensatory draft picks. But remember, the Steelers won’t need this amount until at least May. Also, the Steelers will need as much as an additional $10.8 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 as outlined in the following article:

Does something not make sense? Curious about any of the specifics? Leave your questions in the comments below and I will check in and do my best to answer them.