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Dan Moore gets a significant pay raise for 2024

Significant news for the 2024 NFL season was made on Friday when teams were informed of the new $255.4 million salary cap for the upcoming season. Along with this number, teams also know the amount for fifth-year options, use of the franchise tag, and restricted free agent tender amounts. With so many numbers coming through at once, this information was useful in a lot of ways.

First, the Steelers now know the exact amount for the fifth-year option for Najee Harris. The Steelers have until May 2 to decide if they want to spend the $6.79 million for Harris for the 2025 NFL season. If so, both of this number next year as well as Harris’ current contract become fully guaranteed.

Another number which became helpful in establishing other things that affect the Pittsburgh Steelers is knowing the numbers for the restricted free agent tenders. This might not be as important for the Steelers to offer the tender to any of their players, but it also factors into the NFL’s proven performance escalator (PPE).

For those who may not be familiar with the PPE, it is used to increase the salaries for rookies in the final year of their contract if they have hit certain playing time escalators throughout the first three years of their contract. This only applies for players selected in the second through seventh round. First-round players deal with the fifth-year option for the team and do not qualify. Additionally, undrafted free agents are not eligible for the NFL’s PPE.

There are three different levels of PPE which can be earned, with the first two levels being contingent on the number of snaps played. For a player to be eligible for the NFL PPE, they must reach Level One status. To reach Level Three status, a player simply needs to be selected to the Pro Bowl as an original selection and not an alternate.

A summation of the three levels with information from the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) can be summed up here according to (OTC):

Article 7, Section 4 of the 2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement governs the PPE, establishing three levels of qualification:

  • The Level One PPE is earned if a player participates in a certain percentage of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averages that percentage of offensive or defensive snaps over his entire first three years. For 2nd round picks, the average is 60%, and (as was the same in the 2011 CBA) for 3rd-7th round picks it is 35%.
  • The Level Two PPE is earned if a player participates in at least 55% of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in all of his first three seasons.
  • The Level Three PPE is earned if a player is selected to a Pro Bowl on the original ballot (not as an alternate) in any of his first three seasons.

According to these numbers, Dan Moore Jr. achieved a Level Two status as he played much more than 55% of the Steelers offensive snaps in each of us first three seasons. More was not selected to the Pro Bowl, therefore he did not reach Level Three.

So now that the level has been established, what determines how much of an increase in salary Moore will see in 2024? Once again turning to OTC, we did a great job of summing up the multiple pages of the CBA, the payment for these escalators are as follows:

Players eligible for the PPE will see their fourth year base salary escalate, based upon the restricted free agent (RFA) tenders for that season, as follows:

  • The Level One PPE will raise the base salary to the amount of the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) RFA tender.
  • The Level Two PPE will raise the base salary to the amount of the ROFR RFA tender, plus $250,000.
  • The Level Three PPE will raise the base salary to the amount of the 2nd round RFA tender.

One item of note from the NFL CBA is in 2018 the restricted free agent tender used was increased from Right of First Refusal to an Original Round Tender.

With the announcement on Friday of the NFL‘s free agent tender amounts as reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the original draft round compensation is $3.116 million.

By taking this amount and adding the $250,000 for a Level Two escalator, Dan Moore’s base salary for 2024 is now set to be $3.366 million. With Moore originally set to have a base salary of $1.055 million, the increase in pay comes out to $2.311 million.

Since this is what Moore will be paid for 2024, this also increases his salary cap number for the upcoming season. With a prorated bonus cost of $174,475 according to OTC, Moore’s salary cap number is now $3,504,475. This increase of $2.311 million will count against the Steelers 2024 salary cap.

While the release of Mason Cole saved the Steelers almost $4 million against the salary cap after displacement ($3,933,891 to be exact according to OTC), the Steelers also lost the $2.311 million now due to Dan Moore.

As I stated yesterday in the salary cap article, I am still not prepared to give my official starting number of the Steelers salary cap space for 2024, mainly because of the discrepancy in the rollover for the Steelers for 2024 ($2.34 million at OTC and $3.022 million at Spotrac and other sources). To give a rough estimate, the Steelers currently have between $9 million and $9.7 million in cap space at this time.

With the PPE information only coming yesterday, not all salary cap websites have the information included at this time. If searching these sites yourself, keep in mind OTC has the escalators in their numbers while Spotrac still has not updated their figures as of Saturday afternoon. This just goes to show that calculating a team’s salary cap space is constantly evolving throughout the offseason, and while sometimes figures are known right away there are other times they are not. Even a salary cap update can change significantly in a matter of minutes as more information becomes available.


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