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NFL Salary Cap could exceed original projections, which is great news for the Steelers

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Reports are swirling the NFL’s 2018-2019 salary cap could exceed original expectations.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Every year the NFL Salary Cap rises, and while many predict and project just what the overall number will be, when the dust settles the numbers are usually quite different from those projections.

While most experts assumed the upcoming 2018-2019 salary cap will be somewhere between $174 million and $178 million, a report from ProFootballTalk suggests the cap could be even higher than the $178 ceiling on the prior projection.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the cap will at least be $178 million. It also could exceed $179 million.

The specific number, generally driven by revenues in the prior years, ultimately becomes the product of negotiation between the NFL and NFLPA. Last year, the parties set the cap at $168 million.

The cap has been experiencing significant growth in recent years, even with a decline in TV ratings. With the Thursday night broadcast package spiking from $450 million to at least $550 million annually as of 2018, the increases likely will continue.

The 2017 salary cap was set at $168 million, and if this report is correct it would be a $10 million, or more, increase.

The annual salary cap for all NFL players on each roster is established by a percentage of league-wide revenues, although there is a degree of negotiation between the NFLPA and team owners.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are already over last year’s salary cap number, and will likely be right up to the projected number; however, they are managing their money wisely in hopes of being able to sign valuable free agents like running back Le’Veon Bell.

Look for the Steelers, as well as other NFL teams, to re-work contracts, and release players, to get to the appropriate number before the new league year begins when free agency begins on March 14 at 4 p.m. ET, although free agents are permitted to negotiate with teams March 12.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on this story, and other news surrounding the black-and-gold.