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6 Steelers with roster bonuses coming due to start 2024

As the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to move through the 2024 offseason and are assembling their coaching staff, there is plenty of business to get done before the start of the new league year on March 13, 2024. Although the legal tampering period for free agency will begin two days earlier on a Monday, March 11, the Steelers will have some decisions to make in regards to their personnel right around when the league year kicks in. Not only are the Steelers currently projected to be over the 2024 salary cap (with exact numbers to come in the next month), there are some contracts on the books which simply don’t seem to be reasonable going into next season.

One item that sometimes figures into personnel decisions and their timing is when players have roster bonuses due early in the new league year. Usually these roster bonuses are in order to force a team to make a decision on a player well before the start of the season so they would have a better opportunity in free agency should the two sides part ways. If the team has the same affect on their salary cap whether they release the player in March or August, there’s not nearly as the incentive to let the player find a new situation.

Simply because a player has a roster bonus due in March does not mean the team should cut ties simply to not have to pay the bill. Every situation is unique.

Here are six players who have roster bonuses due for the Steelers early in the 2024 league year. While there are some players who reportedly have bonuses as part of the rookie contracts such as Kenny Pickett and Broderick Jones, their contracts are fully guaranteed and therefore they will not be included here. Additionally, there is a lot of discrepancy as to when these bonuses are actually due. The dates listed below are courtesy of (OTC), but another credible salary cap site in has slightly different dates for almost every player. Most importantly, the amounts are the same and every due date is within the first week of the new league year. Players are listed in the order of the highest roster bonuses first.

Larry Ogunjobi

Bonus Due: $4.75 million
Due Date: March 17, 2024

Almost half of the cash due to be paid to Ogunjobi in 2024 comes as the roster bonus due in March. Being due a $5 million base salary for the season, the Steelers are in quite an interesting situation when it comes to Larry Ogunjobi. With nearly a $13.3 million cap it for this year, the Steelers could restructure some of that since Ogunjobi is only counting $10.5 million next season. With two years remaining on his contract, the Steelers would have a significant dead money hit if they moved on from Ogunjobi because of the two years of the prorated bonus coming in at over $7 million. The biggest thing when it comes to Larry O. is the Steelers will need to make a decision in March as to how they are handling his contract for the next two years. The most likely path would be for the Steelers to simply allow his contract to play out as is for the next season.

Chuks Okorafor

Bonus Due: $4 million
Due Date: March 18, 2024

With only one year left on this deal and $4 million of the total $8.75 million the Steelers could save if they moved on from Okorafor, there is likely to be a roster move in this regard ahead of the new league year. Not only could the Steelers use the cap space, paying nearly $9 million to a reserve offensive lineman wouldn’t be a wise financial move for the Steelers moving forward.

Diontae Johnson

Bonus Due: $3 million
Due Date: March 16, 2024

Entering the last year of his contract, only 30% of Johnson’s cash paid for 2024 comes in the form of a roster bonus in March. When it comes to the decision in regards to Johnson, the timing of the roster bonus is probably affecting a contract extension as much as anything. But the structure of Johnson’s contract (which isn’t known at this time) will come into play here. They are provisions in some contracts that allow roster bonuses given at the beginning of the league year to still be rolled over into a signing bonus should there be a change in the contract status, such as an extension. If this is the case with Johnson, the Steelers don’t have to be in a rush to get things done before his roster bonus kicks in if they are even considering doing so.

Patrick Peterson

Bonus Due: $3 million
Due Date: March 16, 2024

If the Steelers are going to continue on with Patrick Peterson as part of their secondary, they will need to make the decision before his roster bonus is due in March. Much like Diontae Johnson, if the Steelers choose that they want to keep Peterson around and extend him to help spread out whatever money is still owed, when they do it would depend on how his roster bonus was addressed in his contract. But exactly what the Steelers are going to do based on the $3 million Peterson is due in March is really up in the air.

Mason Cole

Bonus Due: $1.5 million
Due Date: March 18, 2024

Although $1.5 million isn’t overly significant in the scheme of the entire salary cap, it is significant enough for the Steelers to make the call on what they are planning at center prior to the start of the league year. Either the Steelers want to keep Mason Cole around as their center or for depth at the position or he needs be released before his roster bonus is due early in free agency.

Mitch Trubisky

Bonus Due: $1 million
Due Date: March, 2024

First of all, there was no note on Trubisky‘s contract on OTC about when his roster bonus is due. Cross referencing the number at Spotrac, it merely says it is due sometime in the month of March with no exact date listed. While $1 million is not extremely significant compared to Trubiskys $4.25 million base salary, it is going to have the Steelers make the decision ahead of free agency. And based on the feel of Steelers’ Nation, the expectation is that Mitch Trubisky will get to explore free agency in 2024.

So there are the six players who have roster bonuses due for the Steelers for the 2024 league year. For all six players, each situation is unique and exactly how the Steelers will handle the roster bonus remains to be seen. While these numbers could make someone a candidate for being released, restructured, or extended, there’s also the more common move of simply keeping the player on the roster with their bonus and current contract for the upcoming season.


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