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Steelers Enter Offseason Way over Salary Cap

Omar Khan has some work to do, as the Pittsburgh Steelers need to trim over $30 million from their 2024 payroll to get under the salary cap.



Steelers GM Omar Khan Trade Deadline Salary Cap
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan at St. Vincent College for training camp, July 27, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers will start their 2024 offseason in the red financially, as Omar Khan and company will have some work to do to get the team salary cap complaint and to make room to sign free agents.

The good news is that there is plenty of flexibility for Khan and Cole Marcoux, who took over many of the general manager’s former salary cap duties.

First, let’s start with the full bill. The Steelers start the offseason at approximately $15.2 million over the projected salary cap. The league has yet to officially set the cap ceiling, but it is expected to come in around $242.5 million. The current Steelers payroll includes the top 51 salaries (all that are counted in the offseason) that add up to $259.7 million

Before we get to the good news, it gets worse. While the Steelers would only need to clear a little over $15 million to get compliant in the offseason, they will need to clear over $34 million between now and the start of the 2024 season. That’s because things like their rookie draft pool, the end of the rule of 51, their practice squad, players that might be on the injured reserve list, and a buffer to make in-season moves aren’t counted in the offseason figure.

The good news is that there are some obvious moves the Steelers can make to free up some cap space. It seems likely that veterans Allen Robinson II ($11.9 million), Chuks Okorafor ($11.8 million), Patrick Peterson ($9.8 million) and Mitch Trubisky ($7.6 million) will either not return or will do so at reduced salary. The team can either extend or add void years to reduce the cap hit of defensive tackle Cam Heyward by almost $10 million (just don’t ask him to take a pay cut), and outside linebacker Alex Highsmith could save over $7 million with a traditional contract restructure.

With just a handful of moves, Khan and Marcoux can clear over $50 million in salary cap space, get the team under the cap, and make room to start signing free agents when that period opens in March.


Functional 2024 cap space (est.) $34,104,314 T.J. Watt $30,418,694
Cam Heyward $22,406,250
Estimated 2024 NFL salary cap $242,500,000 Minkah Fitzpatrick $21,355,000
Steelers 2023 salary cap rollover $2,340,191 Diontae Johnson $15,833,334
Steelers 2024 salary cap (est.) $244,840,191 Alex Highsmith $13,933,000
Larry Ogunjobi $13,283,333
Top 51 salaries $259,700,564 Allen Robinson II $11,917,500
Dead cap hits $301,114 Chukwuma Okorafor $11,833,334
James Daniels $11,166,668
Offseason cap space (est.) $15,161,487 Isaac Seumalo $10,191,666
Patrick Peterson $9,775,000
Draft pool $3,112,827 Cole Holcomb $7,640,000
End of rule of 51 $1,830,000 Mitch Trubisky $7,556,666
Practice squad (est.) $4,000,000 Mason Cole $6,271,668
In-season buffer/injured reserve (est.) $10,000,00 Nate Herbig $5,460,000
Chris Boswell $4,720,000
Elandon Roberts $4,667,500
Najee Harris $4,151,460
Damontae Kazee $3,875,000
Kenny Pickett $3,836,701
Broderick Jones $3,778,719
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
Dan Moore Jr. $1,229,475
Darnell Washington $1,216,798
Isaiahh Loudermilk $1,135,072
Calvin Austin III $1,111,084
Nick Herbig $1,083,231
Pressley Harvin III $1,075,183
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
Spencer Anderson $934,446
Devery Hamilton $915,000
Jalen Elliott $915,000
Trenton Thompson $915,000
Darius Rush $915,000
Rodney Williams II $915,000
Ryan McCollum $915,000
Cory Trice $816,109
Tyler Beach $795,000

Salary figures from Steelers Now sources, the NFLPA, and