While it’s still only late January, it seems like we now have a great idea as to what the NFL salary cap number will be for the 2023 season.
According to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network on Monday, the NFL has informed teams today that the 2023 salary cap will be a record $224.8 million per club. As expected, that’s a new record for the NFL and it comes on the heels of the cap being set at 208.2 million in 2022 and $182.5 million in 2021.
The $224.8 million cap number for 2023 doesn’t come as a huge surprise, however, as the expectations from NFL financial experts such as former agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports have speculated for several weeks now that the number would come in at right around $225 million. Some others were hopeful that the number might come in a little bit north of $225 million following the NFL recently finalizing a new Sunday Ticket package with YouTube.
So, what does $224.8 million cap number for 2023 million mean when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers? Well, if you have been following my weekly updates, you know that I have been working off of a projected number of $225 million so overall there will not be a huge adjustment when it comes to my overall projections.
Using that new number of $224.8 million, I have the Steelers projected at being $528,852 over the cap as we sit here in late January. That number, however, includes the contract of cornerback Cameron Sutton a few weeks from now in addition to the projected base salary increases for outside linebacker Alex Highsmith and guard Kevin Dotson after both qualified for Proven Performance Escalators. My projection also includes the team’s expected rollover of unused 2022 salary cap space in addition to the expected annual workout bonus placeholder amount that will be put in place not too many weeks from now.
The Steelers figure to make some cap room in the coming weeks with one of those maneuvers likely to be the cutting of cornerback William Jackson III, who was acquired right before the 2022 trade deadline. Terminating Jacksons contract would result in $12,176,471 in 2023 salary cap space being cleared prior to his roster displacement taking place.
The Steelers could have another few contract terminations prior to March 15 as well. Additionally, the team can free up quite a bit of 2023 salary cap space during the offseason by restructuring the contracts of outside linebacker T.J. Watt and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.