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The effect of the Steelers rookie class on the salary cap

With the Pittsburgh Steelers holding their rookie minicamp this weekend, the team has been able to get more than half of their 2024 draft class under contract through Saturday. As these players are signed, there is some effect on the team salary cap. But how much?

Because of the rookie wage scale, there is not a lot of wiggle room in the current rookie contracts. For this reason, Over The Cap (OTC) has an estimated 2024 salary cap hit for each selection from this year’s draft. Even though there is a very precise dollar amount, it is still just an estimate of this year’s salary cap hit. Based on last year, these numbers are extremely close with the actual number often coming in slightly under the estimate.

One thing to remember with each one of these players and their effect on the current salary cap is whether or not they fall in the top 51 salaries. If they do, there’s also the issue of roster displacement as they will knock another salary out of the top 51. For the 2024 draft class, they would be displacing a $985 K salary. So those players who will not have that big of a salary cap this year will not affect things at this time, and those that are above that amount only count how much much more than $985 K their cap hit is for this year.

These are the estimated salary cap hits for the Steelers entire 2024 draft class according to OTC:

Troy Fautanu

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $2,737,325
Cost after displacement: $1,752,325

Zach Frazier

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $1,371,675
Cost after displacement: $386,675

Roman Wilson

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $1,044,576
Cost after displacement: $59,576

Payton Wilson

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $1,017,511
Cost after displacement: $32,511

Mason McCormick

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $986,225
Cost after displacement: $1,225

Logan Lee

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $850,019
Cost after displacement: $0

Ryan Watts

Estimated 2024 cap hit: $840,671
Cost after displacement: $0


Total 2024 cap hits: $8,848,002
Total cost after displacement: $2,232,312

Since only players drafted in the first four rounds would be enough to break into the top 51 salaries at this time, it also means any undrafted rookie free agent salaries would fall outside the top 51 as well.

So even though the Steelers draft class will cost just under $9 million against the salary cap in 2024, they will really only cost slightly over $2 million based on the rule of 51. Additionally, if either of the Steelers sixth-round draft picks from this season make the roster, they will either be the 52nd or 53rd salary, which will count, or will be taking the place of a high salary in the top 51 who will not make the roster.

As the exact dollar amounts from the contracts are reported, I will update my current salary cap space which now stands at approximately $18.3 million. But even before the numbers are reported, a very good estimate of how much each player will count against the Steelers salary cap can be taken into account thanks to these numbers.


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