The start of the 2022 NFL league year is just over a week away. Kicking in at 4 PM on Wednesday, March 16, all teams must be under the salary cap by that time. In order to be able to get to this number, teams must first know what the official salary cap is for this coming season.
On Monday, the 2022 salary cap was set by the NFL at $208.2 million. This information came via multiple sources, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
NFL’s 2022 salary cap will be $208.2 million.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2022
Coming in at $208.2 million, the cap is now $10 million higher than 2020, and an increase of $25.7 million from last season. With increased TV revenue on the horizon, the 2023 salary cap could see another large bump this time next year.
Now that the number is known for this coming season, exactly where do the Steelers stand when it comes to the salary cap? What are all the other factors involved to determine how much space the Steelers will have when the legal tampering period begins next Monday at noon?
Unfortunately, the number is not as simple as $208.2 million. The Steelers also have rollover from the 2021 season where they did not use all of their salary cap space and is credited to them in 2022. In January, ESPN’s Field Yates reported the expected rollover for all 32 teams.
NFL teams recently declared unused 2021 cap space rollover amounts (below).— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 17, 2022
After the playoffs, the NFL will audit incentives, bonuses, etc by team. That figure will be added/subtracted to the number below.
The sum + the 2022 Salary Cap = each team's 2022 adjusted cap number. pic.twitter.com/BMThnJyLpa
While this was the initial number set for teams, Yates made mention of any adjustments that would come after the postseason. As reported by numerous outlets, the Steelers had an adjustment of $80k in their favor.
Another number which contributes to the salary cap is where the NFL sets aside workout bonuses paid to players if they participate in offseason programs. This money comes out of a team’s salary cap, but any that is unused will be credited back, typically during training camp.
Once all these numbers are known, it comes down to the top 51 salaries of players currently under contract for the Steelers which count towards the current salary cap. Additionally, any dead money from players must also be subtracted.
With all these things explained, here are my current numbers for the Steelers 2022 salary cap. These numbers also currently align with overthecap.com (OTC) which I use as the main source for players’ salaries.
Steelers 2022 Salary Cap Space
2022 Salary Cap: $208,200,000
Steelers rollover (Jan): $7,758,586
Workout bonuses: -$849,600
Rollover adjustment: $80,000
Total Cap: $215,188,986
Top 51 salaries: $163,962,980
Dead Money: $22,414,424
Total costs: $186,377,404
Current cap space: $28,811,582
This number falls in line with that at OTC, and is very close to that at another reliable salary cap site of spotrac.com. Their value of $29,598,950 does not include the player workout bonuses and also has some differences in contracts. For example, there is a difference of almost $18k in Joe Schobert‘s cap hit between the two websites.
As the offseason rolls on, if you read any of my future salary cap articles I start off with the estimated cap space which I will be using as $28.8 million. The reason I prefer to keep the salary cap estimated is because of small differences in specific dollar amounts in reported contracts which don’t really become a big factor in when looking at the big picture of the salary cap.
So with nearly $29 million in salary cap space, the Steelers should be in the market to add either their own potential free agents or outside players next week. Additionally, the Steelers could make various moves to gain even more salary cap for 2022 if they so choose. As the Steelers salary cap space changes with any adjustment to the roster, stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued updates.