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Steelers salary cap: Room available for extensions, inexpensive free agent

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Here's a look at the Steelers' cap position after the recent signings. The addition of the restructure of Maurkice Pouncey's contract has given the front office a bit of room to play.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Update: In light of the rash of signings in the past few days this piece has had a number of updates and could well be subject to change again.

Ben Roethlisberger's expected extension has not yet materialized, nor has one for Cameron Heyward but all the Steelers restricted free agents have been tendered at what was the lowest rate possible of $1.542 million .

The salary for Arthur Moats has been reported so far as $7.5 million over three years with a cap hit of $1,483,333 in 2015 although not officially confirmed by the Steelers. The contract numbers for Matt Spaeth are rumored to be $2.2 million over two years with a cap hit of $1,062,500 this year.

The restructure of Maurkice Pouncey's contract officially noted Thursday by the NFLPA has cleared an additional $3.8 million in cap space.

Here is how the salary cap looks at the moment.

Don't forget when it comes to free agent signings with the rule of 51 any new signing will displace another off the roster for accountancy purposes - That figure this year is $435,000

Steelers 2015 Salary Cap
Quarterbacks Cap Hit In 2015 Saving If Cut Contract Length
1 Ben Roethlisberger $18,395,000 $11,600,000 1
2 Bruce Gradkowski $1,833,334 $1,550,000 1
3 Landry Jones $694,805 $475,195 2
4 Tajh Boyd $435,000 $435,000 1
Running Backs
5 Le'Veon Bell $1,123,800 $435,400 2
6 Will Johnson $1,542,000 $1,542,000 1
7 Dri Archer $644,504 $264,992 3
8 Josh Harris $510,000 $510,000 1
Wide Receivers
9 Antonio Brown $9,787,500 $125,000 3
10 Markus Wheaton $752,844 $457,156 2
11 Martavis Bryant $619,805 $290,390 3
12 C.J. Goodwin $435,000 $435,000 1
13 L'Damien Washington $435,000 $435,000 1
Tight Ends
14 Heath Miller $5,666,666 $2,333,332 2
15 Matt Spaeth $1,062,500 $787,500 2
16 Michael Egnew $585,000 $585,000 1
17 Rob Blanchflower $435,000 $435,000 1
Offensive Line
18 Maurkice Pouncey $4,296,000 ($10,859,,000) 5
19 Marcus Gilbert $3,256,000 ($7,519,000) 4
20 David DeCastro $2,486,240 $1,455,531 1
21 Ramon Foster $2,150,000 $1,850,000 1
22 Cody Wallace $1,250,000 $950,000 2
23 Mike Adams $1,127,525 $873,225 1
24 Kelvin Beachum $1,553,474 $1,542,000 1
25 Chris Hubbard $510,000 $510,000 1
26 Alejandro Villanueva $435,000 $435,000 2
27 Mitchell Van Dyk $435,000 $435,000 1
Defensive Line
28 Cameron Heyward $6,969,000 $6,969,000 1
29 Steve McLendon $2,808,334 $2,250,000 1
30 Cam Thomas $2,500,000 $2,000,000 1
31 Stephon Tuitt $1,047,601 ($836,162) 3
32 Matt Conrath $585,000 $585,000 1
33 Daniel McCullers $529,670 $470,660 3
34 Ethan Hemer $435,000 $435,000 1
Linebackers
35 Lawrence Timmons $12,566,250 $4,433,750 2
36 Jarvis Jones $2,374,228 ($2,769,933) 2
37 Ryan Shazier $2,160,728 ($5,617,894) 3
38 Arthur Moats $1,483,333 ($416,667) 3
39 Sean Spence $816,345 $680,000 1
40 Vince Williams $604,670 $565,330 2
41 Terence Garvin $585,000 $585,000 1
42 Jordan Zumwalt $461,213 $382,574 3
43 Shawn Lemon $437,500 $430,000 3
44 Joe Kruger $435,000 $435,000 1
45 Howard Jones $435,000 $435,000 2
46 Roosevelt Nix $435,000 $435,000 1
Defensive Backs
47 Troy Polamalu $8,250,000 $3,750,000 2
48 Cortez Allen $6,981,000 $1,581,000 4
49 Mike Mitchell $2,508,750 ($4,546,250) 4
50 William Gay $1,666,668 $1,500,000 1
51 Antwon Blake $1,542,000 $1,542,000 1
52 Robert Golden $1,542,000 $1,542,000 1
53 Shamarko Thomas $698,288 $471,712 2
54 BW Webb $585,000 $585,000 2
55 Ross Ventrone $585,000 $585,000 2
56 Jordan Dangerfield $435,000 $435,000 1
57 Ian Wild $435,000 $435,000 1
58 Kevin Fogg $435,000 $435,000 1
59 Alden Darby $435,000 $435,000 1
60 Isaiah Lewis $435,000 $435,000 1
Special Teams
61 Shaun Suisham $3,665,000 $1,385,000 4
62 Greg Warren $665,000 $585,000 1
63 Brad Wing $510,000 $510,000 1
64 Richie Leone $435,000 $435,000 1
Dead Money
Lamarr Woodley $8,580,000
LeGarrette Blount $475,000
Lance Moore $322,500
Brett Keisel $250,000
Shaquille Richardson $142,539
Wesley Johnson $108,420
Rob Blanchflower $44,550
Nicholas Williams $28,924
David Paulson $11,474
Howard Jones $6,667
Eric Waters $5,000
Josh Mauro $5,000
Roy Philon $4,000
Brendon Kay $3,334
Ethan Hemer $3,334
Will Simmons $3,334
Chris Elkins $2,667
Totals
Salary Cap Total $136,276,318
2011/12 Cap Payback ($1,125,000)
2014 Salary Cap Adjusment $216,869
2015 Salary Cap $143,280,000
Under Cap $6,095,551

With just over $6 million in cap space the Steelers are in position to make a few moves in free agency. There is enough space to sign a few veteran deals similar to those Lance Moore and Cam Thomas signed last year. A signing on the scale of Mike Mitchell from last year seems unlikely in 2015 although there is just enough room to make a play like that with the change to Pouncey's contract.

While there has been no news on Troy Polamalu it is worth noting that it is likely his release/retirement will have no impact on the Steelers ability to sign free agents in the coming weeks. If he chooses to retire the Steelers most likely would hold off filing his papers until after June 1st, if they are forced to cut him he would most likely be designated a post June 1st cut. Either way the cap space his leaving would create would not be available to be used until after this date.

At that point the money could be used to extend the contracts of a number of impending free agents in 2016 as they see fit as well as to sign the 2015 draft class which while we are talking numbers should cost something like this:

Rookie Contracts 2015
Round 1 $1,514,745
Round 2 $713,818
Round 3 $573,986
Round 4 $541,301
Round 5 $481,048
Round 6 $460,550
Round 6 $454,670
Round 7 $447,720
Total $5,187,838
Displacement -$3,480,000
Cap Space Needed $1,707,838

An extra 6th round pick has been included in the totals as the expected compensation for the loss of Ziggy Hood last year. The rest of the free agent losses were cancelled out by a matching new signing. The figures above were based off numbers from OverTheCap who have historically proved to be very accurate especially in this area.