The Pittsburgh Steelers bowed out of the playoffs earlier than most fans expected, and that may be the tip of the iceberg for the start of a disappointing offseason for the team. Because of the pandemic, the NFL could not fill NFL stadiums that have crushed revenue split by owners and the players. To put this into perspective, the 2020 salary cap was $198.2 million and most league experts expect the 2021 salary cap to end up at $180 million, with the league and the NFLPA agreeing to a $175 million floor.
The six-time Super Bowl champions sit approximately $30 million over the cap and will have to make many hard decisions to get cap compliant by March 17, and even before those tough decisions need to be made, due to the team having so many starters hitting free agency, the team’s depth chart is barren of familiar talent at some positions.
Even the most diehard fan may not recognize some names listed on the offensive depth chart, because of the salary crunch, they are currently a part of the 2021 roster. Some of those players were late-season call ups from the practice squad, while others took their place on the practice squad or signed contracts after the Steelers bowed out of the playoffs.
UFA: Josh Dobbs
Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr., Jaylen Samuels, Trey Edmunds
UFA: James Conner
Eric Ebron, Zach Gentry, Kevin Rader, Charles Jones, Dax Raymond
Retired: Vance McDonald
Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, Anthony Johnson, Cody White
UFA: JuJu Smith-Schuster
RFA: Ray-Ray McCloud
Chukwuma Okorafor, Jarron Jones, John Leglue, Brandon Walton
UFA: Zach Banner, Jerald Hawkins, Alejandro Villanueva
David DeCastro, Kevin Dotson, Anthony Coyle
UFA: Matt Feiler, Danny Isidora
ERFA: J.C. Hassenauer