As the 2023 NFL league year set to kick off at 4 PM on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, there are a number of decisions that the Pittsburgh Steelers have to make with a fair amount of players when it comes to their status for this season. While some players are set to become unrestricted free agents, there are some still under contract with the Steelers whose future might be in danger simply because of the amount of salary cap space they would consume for this coming season. Although some players are more obvious if they will be kept on for another season, others are more up for debate.
One player in particular is inside linebacker Myles Jack. How should this Pittsburgh Steelers handle his situation? For the most part, there are three options when it comes to Myles Jack and the 2023 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers:
With a $11.25 million salary cap hit for 2023, the Steelers could save $8 million by simply moving on from Myles Jack. While having this amount of money available for free agency sounds appealing, it should also be noted that the Steelers only have two inside linebackers from the 2022 53-man roster in Jack and Mark Robinson. Should the Steelers choose to release Myles Jack, it likely would not occur until they have already added other pieces at the position simply based on the numbers. It was a similar situation last year when the Steelers signed Myles Jack and then released Joe Schobert in order to help free up the salary cap money at the position. So if the Steelers do have any intention of releasing Jack, it might not be right away.
There is really not a major problem with the Steelers keeping Myles Jack for one more season under his current contract as long as he is their best option at the position. As stated above, there aren’t really any other options at this time, so having this amount of money go towards the salary cap isn’t outlandish. Additionally, it could allow Jack to move on from the Steelers in 2024 with no dead money carrying over from his contract.
With Myles Jack only turning 28 years old just before the start of the 2023 regular season, it’s not crazy to think that the Steelers could extend his contract which would reduce his 2023 salary cap hit. One possible option is to simply extend Jack for one year at the same price next season as what it is this season. Just to put some numbers on this, the Steelers could offer to extend Jack one year with an $8 million base salary next season (the same as 2023) and pay him this season exactly what he had last year by converting $6.5 million of his base salary into a signing bonus and leaving him with a $1.5 million base salary. This would reduce Jack’s salary cap number this season by $3.25 million and he would once again be sitting with the exact same cap number with base salary and dead money next season as he is at this moment. In other words, it would simply move the decision forward one year while reducing the salary cap hit for 2023. Whether or not Jack would agree to this is a whole other question. But since Jack was willing to sign on at $8 million a season, extending him another year at $8 million isn’t far-fetched.
So now that these three options are on the table, it’s time to look at what might be the best move for the Steelers before opening up the discussion, I’ll give my vote:
My vote: Extend
Unless the Steelers go out and make multiple moves in free agency at inside linebacker, I don’t think they should cut ties with Myles Jack. While this could be a possibility with a new inside linebackers coach in Aaron Curry who may want something else out of the position group, I also don’t see the Steelers completely changing up what they want to do based on a position coach. So if the Steelers aren’t releasing Myles Jack, I don’t think it would hurt to extend him in the way I outlined above. Whether or not Jack would sign on for basically the same deal he was given last year is the issue. But it is something that could make a lot of sense for both parties unless Jack was trying to catch another big payday before he hits 30.
So what do you think? Should the Steelers release, retain, or extend Myles Jack? Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Should the Steelers release, retain, or extend Myles Jack?
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