After an offseason where the team’s effort to find salary cap space at times bordered on desperate, the Pittsburgh Steelers entered the final week before training camp with some change left in their collective pockets.
But no more.
The Steelers made two 11th-hour signing this week, bringing in edge rusher Melvin Ingram and tackle Chaz Green on free agent contracts less than 72 hours before the start of the team’s training camp on Thursday.
That has left the team’s coffers fairly empty entering training camp, though general manger Kevin Colbert does have some ways that he can still alleviate the cap crunch.
First, the numbers. The addition of Ingram is for $4 million on a one-year contract. Green’s deal, which has not been announced but should not exceed the $850,000 veteran cap benefit figure. The figure for the signing of rookie center Kendrick Green also hasn’t been announced, but won’t exceed his slot value of $886,502.
That leaves the Steelers with a Top 51 salary of $152.4 million and approximately $9.9 million in offseason salary cap space, according to Steelers Now analysis and salary data from the NFLPA, OvertheCap.com and other sources.
For the season, the Steelers will have to add their final two players to the rolls and sign a practice squad, leaving the team with approximately $5.9 million in functional salary cap space, which is only a hair more than the leeway amount Colbert likes to leave himself for in-season moves, practice squad promotions and the like.
Essentially, the team’s current salary cap situation precludes them from signing anyone for much more than about $1.75 million.
The Steelers can save about another $5 million in 2021 salary cap money by reworking the contracts of kicker Chris Boswell and defensive end Stephon Tuitt, should they wish to.