For several weeks now we have known that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be rolling over $4,427,145 of unused 2022 salary cap space to 2023. What we didn’t know for sure, until today, is if the team would incur any minor credits or debits to their effective 2023 salary cap number. However, according to Field Yates of ESPN on Monday, the Steelers will not have any additional credits or debits that they will need to account for.
As you can see in the table of data below that Yates tweeted out on Monday, the Steelers’ effective team cap number for 2023 is $229,227,145. In short, that number accounts for the NFL’s league-wide 2023 salary cap number of $224.8 million plus the full $4,427,145 of unused 2022 salary cap space that the team chose to rollover, which we have known for several weeks now would be the case.
$229,227,145 is effectively the team cap number that the Steelers must be at and stay under beginning on March 15, the start of the 2023 new league year.
With that minor piece of housekeeping from Yates now out of the way, the Steelers currently sit $58,582 OVER their effective team cap number of $229,227,145 with 59 total players under contract. That’s based on the Rule of 51 when it comes to those 59 total players.
When you factor in the forthcoming $849,600 NFLPA offseason workout bonus placeholder that is about to hit all 32 teams very soon, the Steelers are effectively $908,182 OVER the cap as we sit here on this Monday.
Obviously, the Steelers can’t remain over the cap so there will be moves made between now and March 15. The most obvious forthcoming Steelers move that we should see is the termination of the contract of cornerback William Jackson III. That move would instantly create $12,187,500 in 2023 salary cap space prior to roster displacement in the team’s Rule of 51, $11,317,500 in cap space after, according to how the team’s Rule of 51 currently sits. That one move would obviously instantly make the Steelers cap compliant.
The Steelers also still have until March 15 to issue restricted free agent tenders. If indeed any are issued, they would instantly enter the Steelers Rule of 51 and thus use up salary cap space after roster displacement. We should start hearing about those restricted tenders very soon.
Obviously, the Steelers could decide to terminate other contracts in addition to Jackson’s. They could also decide to restructure a contract or two before March 15 as well. As is usually the case annually, the Steelers are likely to re-sign a few of their own scheduled unrestricted free agents by the start of the league year as well.
To end this post, there will be a lot more cap-related news coming our way in the next nine days so get ready for that. Additionally, what Yates reported on Monday is not totally unexpected. Had the Steelers indeed received a 2023 cap credit or debit this offseason, it wasn’t expected by me to be much of one. These types of credits or debits are usually mostly related to not-likely-to-be earned incentives from the previous season being achieved.