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Jooser
01-18-2015, 10:19 AM
Article by Bouchette about out salary cap situation. It doesn't appear to be as bad as I once thought it was. I think there's wiggle room.... I think the savings could be more if Troy does the right thing to help the team and just retires....

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2015/01/18/On-the-Steelers-Closer-look-at-matters-of-money/stories/201501180158


On the Steelers: Closer look at matters of moneyJanuary 18, 2015 12:00 AM


By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
At first blush, it would appear the Steelers again will be in salary cap trouble for 2015, as they were heading into 2014.


At second blush, things look much better for them as they approach the new calendar year that begins March 10, which is also the first day of free agency. So good, in fact, that they should be able to sign some free agents from other teams as well as their own and redo contracts such as Ben Roethlisberger’s, which actually should save them money under their cap in 2015 when they do so.


We will use the accounting from Overthecap.com for our purposes. Even though the website does not have the official NFL salary cap numbers, it comes as close as any to keeping track of reported contracts and putting them into salary cap form.


According to the site, players under contract with the Steelers for 2015 count $136,084,235 against their salary cap. They project the salary cap to be $140 million in 2015. Add the Steelers’ carryover space from 2014 of $778,469, and that comes to their projected cap of $140,778,469, leaving them cap room of $4,694,234.


However, Overthecap.com counts only 38 Steelers under contract (plus “dead” money, charges against their cap from players no longer with them), and the top 51 contracts must be included starting March 10.


With the minimum wage for rookies and players without a season on their record at $435,000, let’s make those next 13 contracts all rookies for now. That would come to another $5,655,000, putting the Steelers at $141,739,235 charged against their cap for 2015, which includes nearly $9.5 million in dead money (LaMarr Woodley will count $8,580,000 of that).


Yet, we’ve been told the cap could rise to $143 million per team, so add another $3 million in cap space for the Steelers, and that comes to $143,778,469 for their total cap, which would leave them with $2 million (rounded out) in cap space.


Now they must get to work.


First, let’s clean up the Old Four on defense. James Harrison and Ike Taylor do not have 2015 contracts, so nothing needs to be done and there are no cap savings. Start with Troy Polamalu, who has two years left with a $6 million salary for 2015. Cut him before June 1 and you save $3.75 million in cap space; but let’s wait until June and it’s $6 million in savings.


Cut Brett Keisel now or later and save $1.5 million. Cut Cam Thomas, save $2 million. Cut Lance Moore, save $1.5 million.


There, we have created $11 million of space on the cap without much effort, bringing them to $13 million under the cap.


Now it gets a little more difficult.


Cortez Allen is due a $3 million roster bonus March 14, four days after free agency begins, to go with a rounded salary of $2.6 million. If they cut him in June, they save $5.6 million on their cap this year. I don’t think they’ll do it, but it has to be tempting for someone who looked overmatched this season. Do that, and they’re up to $18.6 million under the cap.


When they sign Roethlisberger, his cap number should be reduced for 2015.


Roethlisberger counts $18.4 million against their cap, including a salary of $11.6 million. The salary is where they can produce some savings for this year. If they sign him to, say, a six-year, $120 million contract, they could put $30 million of that into a signing bonus and that would count $5 million annually on the cap over the next six years. Give him a $3 million salary this season, and his cap would be reduced in 2015 by $3.6 million.


Now, we are at $22 million under the cap.


Of course, they will try to sign linebacker Jason Worilds — who does not count on their cap yet for 2015 because he has no contract — and a few other of their own free agents such as cornerback Brice McCain and linebacker Arthur Moats.


If they sign any or all of those three, it will reduce their room under the cap because they would get much more than the rookie numbers we now have counting against their top 51 salary cap numbers.


Also, someone has to replace the players who were cut in this scenario — Polamalu, Keisel, Thomas, Moore and Allen. Put them down for $500,000 replacements, and we now have a very rough estimate of $19.5 million under the cap after Roethlisberger’s extension.


They also have starters entering their final seasons they will want to extend, such as defensive end Cam Heyward and offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum. Since Heyward’s 2015 salary is $6,969,000 after the Steelers exercised the fifth option year of his deal, they can reduce that cap hit, too, with a multiyear extension.


Let’s give Heyward a five-year, $40 million contract with a $10 million signing bonus. The bonus would count $2 million against the cap annually. Give him another $2 million salary this year and you have a salary cap savings of $3 million in 2015.


That puts the Steelers at $22.5 million under the cap and they have Roethlisberger and Heyward under contract long term. There also is the matter of signing draft picks, but those are a mere drop in the bucket anymore.


Worilds would eat up almost half of that room if they transition tag him again, but they also could sign him to a cap-friendlier long-term deal — or go after another outside linebacker in free agency. They also will need cornerbacks since we cut Allen and McCain is not under contract.


Either way, the Steelers have made it through their most difficult salary cap problems of the past few years and — although this was not anywhere near a precise accounting — are sitting much better today with the ability to sign players, their own or free agents.


Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and Twitter @EdBouchette.

pfelix73
01-18-2015, 11:38 AM
I would like to see them sign Dwayne Harris from the Cowboys as a replacement for Moore. He's one heck of a kickoff returner too. Sort of gets lost in Cowboys WR corps. imo

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-18-2015, 12:00 PM
Thx for posting that, Jooser!

My priorities:

1) backup for Bell
2) D- line
3) D-backfield

We proved we could get *to* the playoffs without 2 and 3 ...

Jooser
01-18-2015, 02:08 PM
Thx for posting that, Jooser!

My priorities:

1) backup for Bell
2) D- line
3) D-backfield

We proved we could get *to* the playoffs without 2 and 3 ...

Interesting. I was thinking that if we can pickup the right CB, Safety or OLB via free agency, we might be in a position to consider drafting a top notch running back. I'm thinking Melvin Gordon here. Talk about adding fire power. We'd have a legit 1-2 punch in the backfield. Opposing defenses would have to commit the safeties to stopping the run, freeing up Brown and Bryant to run amok in the secondary.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsnQkFKz2t4

Iron City Inc.
01-18-2015, 02:31 PM
I can't figure out the cap. However if we do have some serious free cash then our shopping list may include a Justin Houson or a Revis. This team is not that far away so why not go for it.

brazilsteel
01-18-2015, 09:53 PM
I can't figure out the cap. However if we do have some serious free cash then our shopping list may include a Justin Houson or a Revis. This team is not that far away so why not go for it.

Both will be on to top money (10+M/season). The Pats already did some restructuring in Brady's contract to re-sign Revis.

That is beyond our budget.

Mr.wizard
01-18-2015, 10:59 PM
Interesting. I was thinking that if we can pickup the right CB, Safety or OLB via free agency, we might be in a position to consider drafting a top notch running back. I'm thinking Melvin Gordon here. Talk about adding fire power. We'd have a legit 1-2 punch in the backfield. Opposing defenses would have to commit the safeties to stopping the run, freeing up Brown and Bryant to run amok in the secondary.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsnQkFKz2t4

He will go to high, I don't think using a first round pick on a back up is worth it, especially as much as bell is on the field.

Snatch98
01-18-2015, 11:07 PM
I'd love for the steelers to take a run at Terrance knighton. We had a big fatty with weight problems that anchored our 34 for a decade.

Discipline of Steel
01-19-2015, 01:48 PM
Man, they arent going to cut Cortez Allen. He was signed to a big contract for a reason and i think he can still get there. Ike had his growing pains...
Now if he keeps hemorrhaging yards next season, we can call him Cotex and throw him out with the trash.

Rara
01-20-2015, 04:49 AM
Jabaal Sheard or Pernell McPhee are both cheaper than Worilds would be and just as good..if not better. Sheard please!

Oviedo
01-20-2015, 07:23 AM
Good article and I like the approach to cutting salary. Agree with getting rid of the "oldies, but not so goodies anymore"

I feel that we need to sign both Worilds and Moats (or similar FA). I don't get the love for Sheard...a player whose stats have gotten worse every year. He had two sacks last year to be in the Jarvis Jones zone. Worilds is a good player who if Butler doesn't have him dropping into coverage as much could be a consistent 9-12 sack guy. Not sure Jones or Sheard can be that...ever! Worilds is the surest thing we have to a pass rush at OLB that we desperately need.

RuthlessBurgher
01-21-2015, 02:12 PM
Jabaal Sheard or Pernell McPhee are both cheaper than Worilds would be and just as good..if not better. Sheard please!

I prefer McPhee to Sheard. His sack output with zero starts (fighting for playing time behind Dumervil and Suggs) is comparable to what Sheard was putting up when he was a 16 game starter. Plus he has the size to hold up as a strong side OLB in our defense.

Jooser
01-21-2015, 02:29 PM
I prefer McPhee to Sheard. His sack output with zero starts (fighting for playing time behind Dumervil and Suggs) is comparable to what Sheard was putting up when he was a 16 game starter. Plus he has the size to hold up as a strong side OLB in our defense.

:Agree(shocker). But, yes McPhee's size makes him a better option and he plays hungry and mean, and we can use a little of that on D.