The Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to add to their roster for the 2023 season. 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 (OTC) 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.
To clean up a few items from the last salary cap update, Mitch Trubisky‘s contract extension was finally reported by OTC and is the exact dollar amount that I estimated. Contracts came in for other players such as Hakeem Butler which does not land inside the top 51 salaries. Additionally, Luq Barcoo has his salary reported at $940k which puts him in the group or part of the salaries are in the top 51 and part of them or not. For this reason, he adds nothing to the salary cap at this time.
Surprisingly, Mason Rudolph is in the same group of salaries at $940k according to OTC. They currently have his contract being for a league minimum $1.08 million and qualifying for a veteran salary benefit contract which has his salary cap hit of $940k. Another surprise is Rudolph’s contract comes with no signing bonus and therefore he fits in the same category as so many other players with the salary cap hit.
New to the list in this report is outside linebacker Markus Golden. His contract with the Steelers comes at a league minimum of $1.165 million but includes a $152,500 signing bonus. This contract still qualifies as a veteran salary benefit contract and his base salary only counts $940k towards the salary cap. The difference between Golden and Rudolph is he did have a signing bonus which adds another $152,500 to his salary cap hit which comes in at $1.0925 million.
Remember the top three picks of the 2023 draft class have not been signed at this time and therefore do not count against the salary cap. A complete rundown of what the cost of the 2023 draft class was estimated to be can be seen here:
Remember, 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 2023. When it comes to the estimated amounts, I use their overall contract to estimate what their salary cap hit will be for 2023. When their exact numbers are reported I will adjust things accordingly. Until then, it is simply my best guess.
(NOTE: Unless indicated, all reported salaries displaced a $870k salary.)
Steelers salary cap space heading into free agency: Approximately -$1.4 million
William Jackson III: Saved $12.1875 million salary; After displacement: +$11.3175 million
Carlins Platel: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Patrick Peterson: Reported $4.225 million; After displacement: -$3.355 million
Damontae Kazee: Reported $2.125 million; After displacement: -$1.255 million
Nate Herbig: Reported $2.54 million; After displacement: -$1.67 million
Cole Holcomb: Reported $2.72 million; After displacement: -$1.85 million
Minkah Fitzpatrick: Saved $10.065 million; No displacement: +$10.065 million
Elandon Roberts: Reported $2.3325 million; After displacement: -$1.4625 million
Myles Jack: Saved $8 million; After displacement: +$7.13 million
Larry Ogunjobi: Reported $4.933333 million; After displacement*: -$4.059333 million
Isaac Seumalo: Reported $4 million; After displacement*: -$2.740582 million
ADJUSTMENT (Dead money clarification): +$0.49333 million
James Pierre: Reported $1.3 million; After displacement*: -$0.401911 million
Le’Raven Clark: Reported $0.99 million; After displacement*: -$0.081194 million
Zach Gentry: Reported $1.232 million; After displacement+: -$0.2925 million
Keanu Neal: Reported $1.54 million; After displacement+: -$0.6 million
Breiden Fehoko: Reported $0.94 million; After displacement+: -$0 million
Armon Watts: Reported $1.0925 million; After displacement+: -$0.1525 million
Jamir Jones: No cap savings: +$0 million
Braden Mann: Reported $1.01 million; After displacement+: -$0.07 million
Tanner Muse: Reported $1.01 million; After displacement+: -$0.07 million
Allen Robinson: Reported $3.0825 million; After displacement+: -$2.1425 million
Chandon Sullivan: Reported $1.0925 million; After displacement+: -$0.1525 million
Arthur Maulet: Saved $2.75 million; After displacement+: +$0.85 million
Cory Trice Jr.: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Spencer Anderson: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Nick Herbig: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Darnell Washington: Reported $0.973438 million; After displacement+: -$0.033438 million
Alfonzo Graham: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Manny Jones: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Renell Wren: Injured reserve salary: -$0.475
Hakeem Butler: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Luq Barcoo: Reported $0.94 million; After displacement+: -$0 million
Mason Rudolph: Reported $0.94 million; After displacement+: -$0 million
Ahkello Witherspoon: Saved $4 million salary; After displacement: +$3.06 million
Dylan Cook: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Mitch Trubisky: Saved $4.613334 million; No displacement: +$4.613334 million
Toby Ndukwe: Salary not in the top 51: -$0
Tae Crowder: Saved $1.01 million salary; After displacement+: +$0.07 million
Emeke Egbule: Saved $1.01 million salary; After displacement+: +$0.07 million
Master Teague: Salary not in the top 51: +$0
Marcus Golden: Reported $1.0925 million; After displacement+: -$0.1525 million
Approximate salary cap space: Approximately $15.25 million
*The salaries displaced by these four contracts were $874,000 (Jaylen Warren), $876,084 (Calvin Austin III), $898,089 (Mark Robinson), and $908,806 (Connor Heyward).
+The salaries displaced by these contracts are $940,000.
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 (OTC), the Steelers are $15,726,194 under the salary cap. OTC has everything I ave listed above but they did not subtract the money from Renell Wren going on IR despite reporting it. This might be because his salary is not in the top 51 at this time, but it will count for the Steelers throughout the season. Otherwise we have the same amount.
Another credible salary cap website is spotrac.com, which has the Steelers at $10,318,866 under the cap. Spotrac does not have the extension for Mitch Trubisky but they also have Wren’s full contract counting against the cap. In fact, Spotrac does not have any contracts updated above at this time. Spotrac does not have the offseason workouts counting against the salary cap and their dead money amount is incorrect as they have a dead cap hit for Joe Haeg. Additionally, Spotrac counts the potential dead money hit for players not in the top 51 even though it does not need to count against the 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. As outlined above, the Steelers will begin signing the rest of their draft picks and are estimated to need $3.4 million in cap space once figuring roster displacement now that the exact draft selections are known following the draft. But remember, the Steelers won’t need this amount until the additional players sign. Also, the Steelers will need as much as an additional $13 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.