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Steelers Create over $12m in Cap Space with Banner, Schobert Cuts

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Steelers LB Joe Schobert

The Pittsburgh Steelers saved $12.83 million in salary cap space, but took on $3.5 million in dead money after the release of veterans Zach Banner and Joe Schobert this week.

Schobert was scheduled to make around $9 million in 2021, but instead will it will cost the Steelers just $1.89 million in dead cap space to get away from his contract. Schobert’s signing bonus for the contract stayed with the Jacksonville Jaguars when he was traded to Pittsburgh last fall, but the Steelers restructured a portion of his deal.

Schobert will actually count against three teams’ salary caps in 2022, $9.94 million for Jacksonville, $1.89 for Pittsburgh, and for whichever team he eventually signs with.

Banner’s contract was structured with cutting him this offseason being a potential out for the team from the start. The prove-it deal was a two-year contract signed before the 2021 season worth a total of $9.5 million, but with only $3.25 million guaranteed.

The idea was that if Banner reclaimed his starting right tackle role, he would earn the value of the contract going forward, but if he didn’t, the team could get out of it fairly easily. Unfortunately for Banner, he was never able to fully recover from the knee injury that cost him most of the 2020 season and did not contribute for the Steelers in 2021, making the decision to release him an easy one for the team,

The Steelers will be on the hook for $1.625 million of Banner’s salary going forward, but saved $5 million by releasing him.

When added to the dead salary cap hits from the voided contracts of Eric Ebron, Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Steelers now have $25.93 million in dead salary cap charges on the books for 2022, according to Over The Cap.

The space created by the releases of Banner and Schobert was necessary with the team going on a free agent signing binge. The club signed five players already in free agency, including quarterback Mitch Trubisky, while retaining several of its own free agents.

The team’s full offseason salary cap picture won’t be known until the full details of all those signings becomes available.

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