The Pittsburgh Steelers had a busy Monday as the team announced they have terminated the contracts of QB Mitch Trubisky, T Chukwuma Okorafor, and P Pressley Harvin III. On the heels of those three contract terminations, it’s once again time to update the team’s 2024 salary cap situation.
First, the total dead money produced by those three contract terminations for 2024 is $7,716,851. That now means that the Steelers have a dead money total of $8,017,965.
Based on the Top 51 displacement offseason process, the Steelers cleared $10,123,332 in 2024 cap space by terminating the contracts of Trubisky, Okorafor, and Harvin. Remember, when one player leaves the top 51, another player outside of the Rule of 51 replaces them. The sites that are reporting that the Steelers cleared nearly $13 million in 2024 salary cap space as a result of these three contract terminations are not taking into account top 51 roster displacement.
As of Monday, the 2024 NFL salary cap number is projected to be $242.5 million by several experts, such as former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports. That will be the offseason number that we work with until another estimation is announced or the NFL announces the actual number.
The Steelers, as of the time of this post, are poised to roll over $2,340,191 in unused 2023 salary cap space. That number has not changed in the last several weeks.
Based on all estimations to this point, the Steelers are now effectively $7,447,155 over the cap when it comes to their 2024 situation. Once again, that is based on the league-wide cap number coming in at $242.5 million.
Obviously, the Steelers still have work to be done when it comes to getting salary cap compliant by the start of the new league year in March. That work, however, as outlined in my previous salary cap update posts, won’t be very challenging.
The 2024 contract of WR Allen Robinson II remains a huge elephant in the room on this Monday as he’s set to earn $10 million as things stand here today. He will need to either take a massive pay cut or he’ll be cut by the middle of March.
The Steelers could also do something with the contract of DT Cameron Heyward in the coming weeks or months to lower his $22,406,250 cap charge for 2024. More than likely, Heyward will sign a two-year extension with no new money involved in 2024. Such a move would/could clear roughly $9.5 million in 2024 salary cap space.
The Steelers will also likely restructure the contract of OLB Alex Highsmith at some point during the offseason. A full restructuring, as I previously noted, would clear $7.206 million in 2024 salary cap space.
The Steelers have a few other players with March roster bonuses that are due that need monitoring moving forward. The notable players that fit that classification are C Mason Cole ($1.5M), CB Patrick Peterson ($3M), and DT Larry Ogunjobi ($4.75M). The fact, however, that the three survived Monday might be a sign that they will each ultimately see their March roster bonuses. We shall see because there is still over a month to go until then, and that’s a lot of time.
As usual, the attached table of salary cap data includes projected expenses the team will need to be able to afford moving way past the start of the new league year in March. I make sure to include it so that people are not surprised at a later date. The important number, at least for today and looking forward to March and the start of the new league year, is the real-time number, which once again indicated the Steelers being $7,447,155 over a projected league-wide amount of $242.5 million.