The Pittsburgh Steelers have made several moves to add to their 2023 roster since the beginning of the NFL’s legal tampering period on Monday. With the Steelers being at approximately $10 million underneath the salary cap one free agency begin, the savings they have made put them in a position to where they were potentially over the salary cap once all the deals were signed after the league year officially began at 4 PM on Wednesday.
In order to be salary cap compliant when all these contracts are made official, it has been reported by overthecap.com (OTC) that the Steelers have restructured Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s contract in order to create around $10 million in cap space.
#Steelers cleared about $10M in cap room with a restructure of Minkah Fitzpatrick's contract— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 16, 2023
After signing a contract last offseason which would keep him with the Steelers through the 2026 season, Minkah Fitzpatrick was set to cost $18 million against the salary cap this year with a $14.5 million base salary and a $3.5 million prorated bonus from the $17.5 million signing bonus last year. According to OTC, Fitzpatrick has done a maximum restructure where all but $1.08 million of his base salary for 2023, the minimum salary for a player with Fitzpatrick‘s experience, is left and the additional $13.42 million has been converted to a signing bonus.
The restructure saves the Steelers $10.065 million against the 2023 salary cap. The restructure does push $3.355 million per year into each of the three additional years Fitzpatrick has on his contract. By doing so, his new salary cap numbers for the remainder of his deal are $21.355 million in 2024, $22.355 million in 2025, and $24.455 million in 2026.
Signing cornerback Patrick Peterson to a deal that counts $4.225 million on this year’s salary cap as well as guard Nate Herbig who cost $2.54 million in 2023, the Steelers needed some salary cap space as they have also agreed to terms with linebacker Cole Holcomb as well as retained DeMonte Kazee and Larry Ogunjobi. The exact numbers for these three deals are unknown at this time, but the contract for Ogunjobi has been reported to be over $28 million for three seasons which would tie up a fair amount of salary cap space for this year. Rather than have to make another cut at this time, the Steelers have opted for the restructure of Fitzpatrick’s contract to give them some space.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Steelers build their 2023 roster as the new league year kicks off.