According to OverTheCap.com, the Steelers were looking at a cap space number of about -$4.9 million. That’s a negative number, meaning that the Steelers would be over the salary cap with their existing contracts. Not only would the Steelers not be able to sign free agents, afford the projected salary of their draft class, or have enough players sign to field a full 53 man roster; the Steelers would have to get rid of some players’ contracts (cut players) just to be in cap compliance when the new league year begins (4:00 PM on March 14).
The team restructured the contracts of two players today, however, which went a long way in lowering their 2018 Salary Cap figure. Per Field Yates (ESPN):
Source: the Steelers have created $13.26M in cap space for 2018 by reworking the deals of G David DeCastro and DE Stephon Tuitt. Each player reduced his base salary to $790K for 2018, converting the rest of his base salary and a roster bonus into a signing bonus.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 10, 2018
OverTheCap.com now lists the Steelers as $9.129 million in cap space. Starting to breathe a bit easier, Steelers fans? I feel most fans suspected that several contract restructures were inevitable. Decastro and Tuitt were prime candidates, as they both had big cap hits, and multiple seasons left on their contracts (4 for Decastro, 5 for Tuitt) to spread the signing bonus over.
Will the Steelers restructure or extend any more contracts? Ben has stated he wants to play at least 3 more seasons and is currently under contract for 2. Art Rooney II stated they will look to get an extension done with Ben, although not necessarily in 2018.
Will the team cut some players in order to free up cap space. Some of the potential “cap casualties” have been mentioned already. I won’t list them again. Either way, there truly is no “off season” in the NFL.
Stay tuned to BTSC for updates on the Steelers off season news.