The Pittsburgh Steelers were barely able to get under the NFL’s salary cap before the new league year began, and their silence over the first week of NFL Free Agency was deafening. Fans slowly realized the team didn’t have any money, but after several players restructured their contracts to give the team some wiggle room there was hope.
The team then signed inside linebacker Jon Bostic. Good news, but without knowing any of the financials fans wondered if this was the only move they could afford.
Then rumors started of the team interested in Morgan Burnett. Burnett was considered one of the top safeties on the free agent market, no way the team could afford him. Yet, they were able to get him signed on the dotted line.
After all that, the team decided to give Daniel McCullers a one-year contract. At this point most fans are wondering just how much space the team has remaining.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN updated those numbers for fans:
The Steelers have $3.166 million in updated cap space after deals for linebacker Jon Bostic and strong safety Morgan Burnett, whose three-year, $14.35-million pact comes with a $4.25-million signing bonus and $1 million base salary. Filling two defensive needs cost the team a little more than $3 million in 2018 space. Not bad.
When I read this, I was stunned. The Steelers made all those moves and still have over $3 million left over?
While moves will still need to be made to sign anyone else, and to be able to pay the rest of their eventual roster, you can’t help but tip your cap to the team’s front office. Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan have been tap dancing around the league’s salary cap for years, and this year might have been their best performance to date. Not only signing key pieces of the puzzle, but signing them to team-friendly contracts that won’t bankrupt the team is downright impressive.
I have to be honest, I have often bemoaned the team’s willingness to kick the proverbial can down the road without every picking it up, but I might just start changing that tune. The front office knows what they are doing, and that is evident more this year than any other I can remember.
As stated before, there is still work to be done, but adding the talent they have without going into the red is downright impressive.