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Updating the Steelers salary cap situation ahead of the new league year

The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting ready to kick off the 2024 league year. As business is about to start heating up, I have come up with my first salary cap availability for the Steelers. With this starting amount set, whenever the Steelers make a move I will adjust things accordingly. Relying heavily on reliable salary cap websites such as (OTC) or, when they are able to report a player’s contract numbers over the specific years I then update the salary cap situation with a more precise number.

With this being my first salary cap update here at Steel Curtain Network for 2024, I’d like to take a moment to outline how I do things. I start now (just ahead of the league year) with what I believe to be the Steelers salary cap space for the upcoming season. I got to a number based on several sources, but it usually falls in line with OTC when I view any causes for discrepancy. As every move is made, I keep a running tab on how it affects the salary cap.

Whenever a player is added or subtracted to the roster, there is something to remember. To determine how much each player changes the Steelers’ salary cap space, their cap number must be adjusted due to roster displacement. Roster displacement is taking into account only the top 51 contracts for a team count towards the salary cap during the offseason. As a larger contract comes on the books, it bumps a smaller contract out of the top 51. Therefore, it’s only the difference in those contracts that increases the salary cap number.

Here is the approximate breakdown of the Steelers salary cap space as of Sunday afternoon ahead of free agency by my own calculations.

2024 Salary Cap: $255,400,000
2023 rollover: $2,340,192
Top 51 salaries: -$217,297,213
Dead Money: -$14,842,135
Offseason workouts: -$907,200

Steelers salary cap space heading into free agency: Approximately $24.7 million

Now to explain some of my numbers.

First, the signings of Breiden Fehoko and Russell Wilson are not included in this number because their salaries have yet to be reported by one of the major salary cap outlets. If I were to estimate, Fehoko will not count much against the cap after displacement and my guess would be about $180k. Wilson is looking to be about $400k or less if it is truly a veteran salary benefit contract. But this would just be speculation as the order of the signings will be important due to varying amounts of salaries displaced out of the top 51.

Another area of contention is how much the Steelers have in rollover from the 2023 season. While OTC has a lower number of just over $2.34 million, Spotrac has a higher amount of just over $3 million. For now, I’m going with the lower amount just to be safe until I can get a more unified figure or have it reported from another NFL source. A Yahoo Sports article earlier this year had the same amount as Spotrac, but I have not been able to confirm this amount anywhere else.

When it comes to the work out bonus, this is an amount that comes off the salary cap for each player to be paid for every day of the various phases of offseason workouts for days they show up to the facility. Unlike other pay such as preseason games or per diem amounts during training camp which don’t count against the salary cap, this one does. But anything that is not used is returned to each team, usually in the middle of August. Although I was unable to find this amount reported anywhere, the number I came up with was based on the difference of what I expected from OTC. Since it’s very close but just slightly higher than the amount in 2023,  I decided to go with it.

So how does my salary cap number compare to those reported by the major salary cap websites?

According to (OTC), the Steelers are $18,413,646 under the salary cap as of Sunday evening. The biggest difference with OTC is they do not have the release of Allen Robinson at this time. Another move they are missing is, even though they have his salary off the books, the dead money from the release of Patrick Peterson is not listed on their site. Otherwise, we have the same number.

Another credible salary cap website is, which has the Steelers at $26,283,099 as they have the higher rollover amount of more than $3 million for 2023. Also, Spotrac does not have the offseason workouts counting against the salary cap.

While the Steelers are going to need cap space for a number of things this offseason, it doesn’t have to be at this time. The Steelers will need as much as an additional $16 million, with $13 million not needed until September. The Steelers are estimated to need about $3 million to sign their rookie class after displacement based on their current draft picks. Expenses in September include when they need to account for all 53 players on the roster (about $1.75 million), sign their practice squad (between $4 million and $4.5 million), and have some carryover in order to do business throughout the year (about $7 million). But even taking these things into effect now, which they do not need to do as there are other moves which could be made to save some cap space, the Steelers have plenty of room in order to be active in free agency.

Does something not make sense? Curious about any of the specifics? Leave your questions in the comments below and I will check in and do my best to answer them.


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