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Steelers Salary Cap Update after First Day of Free Agency

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan is stilling sitting on a fairly large pile of cash after the first day of 2024 NFL free agency.

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Steelers GM Omar Khan Salary Cap
Pittsburgh Steelers General Manger Omar Khan after his introductory press conference at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Friday, May 27, 2022.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made their big move before free agency even started, agreeing to sign quarterback Russell Wilson in the early hours of Monday morning. They made one more move after the contact period began on Monday at noon, working out a deal with free agent punter Cameron Johnston.

Wilson will be playing under the veteran minimum contract for 2024, thanks to Denver guaranteeing his $39 million salary for this season. That figure will come in at $1.21 million for a player of Wilson’s experience level this season.

Johnston, meanwhile, will actually earn more. His three-year, $9 million contract will have a $2.875 million signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of KRPC-TV in Houston. In 2024, he will have a cap hit of $2.083 million.

With that, we can re-calculate how much Steelers general manager Omar Khan has to work with entering the second day of free agency. Steelers Now has also confirmed that Breiden Fehoko’s salary for 2024 will be $1.055 million, not the $985,000 that we estimated immediately after his singing broke.

After Monday’s moves, the Steelers have about $23.7 million in 2024 offseason salary cap space, according to Steelers Now‘s estimate. That’s down from $25.4 million as of late last week.

That number can be misleading. 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.

But unlike most of the rest of the offseason, the Steelers do figure to have enough room to fulfill all their offseason salary obligations. They have a functional $3.9 million in salary cap space to spend on free agents during this signing period, based on their current contracts.

They also have several avenues of achieving further savings, as the team can cut, restructure, or extend the contract of several veteran players, including Cam Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Alex Highsmith.

Khan could pretty comfortably ink another $15 million worth of commitments in 2024 without having to make any uncomfortable salary cap moves.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 2024 SALARY CAP BREAKDOWN

Functional 2024 cap space (est.) $3,907,465 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 $219,239,437 James Daniels $11,166,668
Dead cap hits $14,842,153 Isaac Seumalo $10,191,666
Cole Holcomb $7,640,000
Offseason cap space (est.) $23,658,601 Nate Herbig $5,460,000
Chris Boswell $4,720,000
Draft pool $3,013,936 Elandon Roberts $4,667,500
End of rule of 51 $1,830,000 Najee Harris $4,151,460
Practice squad (est.) $4,000,000 Damontae Kazee $3,875,000
In-season buffer/injured reserve (est.) $10,000,00 Kenny Pickett $3,836,701
Workout bonuses (placeholder) $907,200 Broderick Jones $3,778,719
Dan Moore Jr. $3,235,000
Joey Porter Jr. $2,185,988
Cameron Johnston $2,083,333
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
Russell Wilson $1,210,000
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
Luq Barcoo $985,000
Marquez Callaway $985,000
Breiden Fehoko (est) $985,000
Dez Fitzpatrick $985,000
Thomas Graham Jr. $985,000
Kyron Johnson $985,000
Jonathan Marshall $985,000
Josiah Scott $985,000
Spencer Anderson $934,446
Kalon Barnes $915,000
Dylan Cook $915,000
Jalen Elliott $915,000
Devery Hamilton $915,000
Nate Meadors $915,000
Ryan McCollum $915,000
Jeremiah Moon $915,000
Darius Rush $915,000
Trenton Thompson $915,000
Rodney Williams II $915,000

Salary figures from Steelers Now sources, the NFLPA, and OvertheCap.com.