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How Much Salary Cap Space Did Steelers Save by Cutting Mason Cole?

The Pittsburgh Steelers cleaned up their salary cap situation in a big way, by getting good news from the NFL and releasing center Mason Cole.



Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan before the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan before the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers got some really good news from the NFL in regards to the 2024 salary cap, and then went out and saved more space by releasing center Mason Cole on Friday.

The NFL set the 2024 salary cap at $255.4 million, which is significantly higher than it had been projected to be. The salary cap is set based on a formula regarding league revenue.

The Steelers had been over the previously estimated salary cap figure, and they found themselves under the new one, so in the short term, that was a big number for Pittsburgh. In the long term, they still need to find some cap space.

They got started on that work at an unusual time, releasing Cole on Friday despite the fact that his roster bonus isn’t due until mid-March. Cole’s release saved the team a little under $4 million in salary cap space. They cleared $4.75 million, but absorbed a $1.52 million dead cap hit. Cole’s release brought Dylan Cook’s new salary back into the top 51, which are the salaries that are counted against the offseason salary cap.

At the end of the day, the Steelers have about $9.2 million in 2024 offseason salary cap space, according to Steelers Now‘s estimate.

Before the start of the 2024 regular season, they will need to pay workout bonuses, sign their rookie class, account for the 52nd and 53rd players on the roster, sign a practice squad, account for players on the injured reserve and leave space for in-season acquisitions. All told, the Steelers likely need to clear another $10.5 million or so from their 2024 salary cap commitments.

They have several avenues of achieving that savings, as the team can cut, restructure, or extend the contract of several veteran players, including Cam Heyward, Allen Robinson II, Patrick Peterson, Larry Ogunjobi, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Alex Highsmith.


Functional 2024 cap space (est.) -$10,538,727 T.J. Watt $30,418,694
Cam Heyward $22,406,250
Estimated 2024 NFL salary cap $255,400,000 Minkah Fitzpatrick $21,355,000
Steelers 2023 salary cap rollover $2,340,191 Diontae Johnson $15,833,334
Steelers 2024 salary cap (est.) $257,740,191 Alex Highsmith $13,933,000
Larry Ogunjobi $13,283,333
Top 51 salaries $238,988,129 Allen Robinson II $11,917,500
Dead cap hits $9,539,653 James Daniels $11,166,668
Isaac Seumalo $10,191,666
Offseason cap space (est.) $9,212,409 Patrick Peterson $9,775,000
Cole Holcomb $7,640,000
Draft pool $3,013,936 Nate Herbig $5,460,000
End of rule of 51 $1,830,000 Chris Boswell $4,720,000
Practice squad (est.) $4,000,000 Elandon Roberts $4,667,500
In-season buffer/injured reserve (est.) $10,000,00 Najee Harris $4,151,460
Workout bonuses (placeholder) $907,200 Damontae Kazee $3,875,000
Kenny Pickett $3,836,701
Broderick Jones $3,778,719
Dan Moore Jr. $3,235,000
Keanu Neal $2,710,000
Joey Porter Jr. $2,185,988
Pat Freiermuth $1,918,057
George Pickens $1,841,506
Keeanu Benton $1,666,619
DeMarvin Leal $1,414,608
Darnell Washington $1,216,798
Isaiahh Loudermilk $1,135,072
Calvin Austin III $1,111,084
Nick Herbig $1,083,231
Denzel Mims $1,055,000
Connor Heyward $1,023,806
Mark Robinson $1,013,089
Jaylen Warren $989,000
Jonathan Marshall $985,000
Kyron Johnson $985,000
Luq Barcoo $985,000
Dez Fitzpatrick $985,000
Marquez Callaway $985,000
Thomas Graham Jr. $985,000
Josiah Scott $985,000
Spencer Anderson $934,446
Devery Hamilton $915,000
Jeremiah Moon $915,000
Jalen Elliott $915,000
Trenton Thompson $915,000
Darius Rush $915,000
Rodney Williams II $915,000
Ryan McCollum $915,000
Kalon Barnes $915,000
Nate Meadors $915,000
Dylan Cook $915,000

Salary figures from Steelers Now sources, the NFLPA, and