clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pittsburgh Steelers have 22nd most salary cap space in NFL

New, comments

Recent rankings show that the Steelers are still ranked in the bottom half of the league in NFL cap space, but read why 22nd is a significant improvement and how their upcoming situation might be great for where they're headed.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago the Pittsburgh Steelers were in dire straits when it came to the management of their roster and keeping it below the salary cap.

The coming of the 2010's decade saw the team win it's most recent AFC Championship, but also was the beginning of the end for the era in which Kevin Colbert had managed to retain a strong nucleus of players that had already brought the franchise two more Super Bowl championships.

Since then, the talk has been whether or not the Steelers should let go of iconic players such as Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor, both of whom retired this offseason. Now that the team has mostly moved on from that nucleus of players (save for James Harrison and Ben Roethlisberger), Pittsburgh has dug itself out of a hole and simultaneously developed a new nucleus that has several young and productive players.

Jeremy Fowler from ESPN recently wrote about how the Steelers are finally out of the top ten teams in the NFL with the least salary cap space. At first that may sound like not all that much of an accomplishment, but when you look at the fact that the Steelers have $8.179 million in salary cap space.

Add that to the fact that the NFL salary cap increases to $150 million for the 2016 season, and the Steelers could be looking at $22.15 million in free space after this year.

That comes just in time with the needed signings of some of those players that are helping to build a new nucleus such as Cameron Heyward, Kelvin Beachum and Steve McLendon. The team has already locked the NFL's best wide receiver in Antonio Brown into a five-year contract, as well as other starters such as Marcus Gilbert, Maurkice Pouncey and more.

Pittsburgh's salary cap space is no longer one of the league's absolute worst, which is a significant victory.  Not too long ago, their cap space was under $1 million, and now pending any new re-signings or free agency pickups, the organization could have upwards of $20 million after the 2015 season. This timing is perfect for a team seems to be coming out of it's rebuilding phase and into a stage where they have to solidify their key players to remain part of their unit.

Roethlisberger's re-signing earlier this offseason made for the first major step in securing the Steelers future. Now the Steelers have to use their newly found freedom to select their future role players wisely, and continue to keep their future in mind as players such as Le'Veon Bell, David DeCastro and Vince Williams will soon be players they have to decide how they'll keep them in the fold.