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Updating the Steelers’ salary cap situation after details from Montravius Adam’s contract

After more precise numbers come in on Adams, how much space do the Steelers have under the 2022 salary cap?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made numerous moves to start off the 2022 NFL league year. While reports come in of these deals well before they are official, even after pen is put to paper it can sometimes take some time to know the exact financials within the contract. Relying heavily on reliable salary cap websites such as overthecap.com or spotrac.com, when they are able to report a player’s contract numbers over the specific years I then update the salary cap situation with a more precise number.

The most recent contracts which could move from the “estimated” to the “reported” category is that of defensive lineman Montravius Adams. With contract details reported, we get a much better picture of how much Adams will count for the Steelers against the 2022 salary cap.

As I stated before, I was ultra-conservative with Adam‘s estimation just to make sure that the Steelers had enough salary cap space. My rounded up estimate of $2 million was above the actual cap number of $1,760,500 for 2022. This came due to Adam’s having a $1.035 million base salary and a $1.465 million signing bonus. With this structure, Adams $5 million is split evenly over the two years as cash paid.

Another order of business is I displaced one too many $825k salaries which I should not have. Therefore I needed to adjust one salary to have an $895k displacement instead. For this, I went with Joe Schobert and adjusted his cap savings by $70k in order to give a more precise number as his name was the lowest on the list that did not have this displacement.

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, were 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, like with this update, I will adjust things accordingly. For those remaining, it is simply my best guess. The only estimated number left at this time is for Ahkello Witherspoon, which I did slightly round up the expected salary cap hit I anticipate for 2022.

(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: Reported $3.66 million; After displacement+: -$2.765 million
Mason Cole: Reported $2.556666 million; After displacement+: -$1.661666 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: (UPDATED) Reported $1.7675 million; After displacement+: -$0.8725 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+: +$6.939 million
Ahkello Witherspoon: ESTIMATED $2.6 million; After displacement: -$1.705 million
Gunner Olszewski: Reported $1.5825 million; After displacement+: -$0.6875 million

Estimated salary cap space: Approximately $13.4 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 $15,074,710 under the salary cap. OTC has all of the above reported contracts on the books except Ahkello Witherspoon. Once factoring it in, we have the same number.

Another credible salary cap website is spotrac.com, which has the Steelers at $15,914,551 under the cap. Spotrac does not have the contracts of either Montravius Adams and Ahkello Witherspoon. 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.