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Steelers Salary Cap Update after Pickett, Fields Trades



Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan Salary Cap
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett in a game against the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 3, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

When you think he might be finished, Omar Khan is just getting started. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ general manager made a pair of splash moves over the weekend, trading quarterback Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday and then snagging former Chicago Bears starter Justin Fields in another trade on Saturday.

With the moves made, we can re-calculate how much Steelers Khan has to work with entering the second week of NFL free agency.

That comes with the caveat that we still haven’t seen the contract details for the contract of safety DeShon Elliott, so his salary is estimated in this update. There is only so much wiggle room in a contract like his two-year, $6 million deal. His 2024 salary cap hit has to be somewhere between $1.125 million and $4.875 million, and both of those extremes are very unlikely. We’ll estimate his 2024 cap hit at $2.625 million until we get a better figure.

So with that, after the weekend’s moves, the Steelers have about $10.3 million in 2024 offseason salary cap space, according to Steelers Now‘s estimate. That’s down from $17.9 million in our last update on Tuesday evening.

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.

The Steelers once again will have some work to do to get salary cap complaint before the start of the season after this weekend’s moves. They are functionally $7.7 million over the salary cap.

The Steelers 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, Alex Highsmith, and not to mention the recently acquired cornerback Donte Jackson.

It appears that the Steelers missed Saturday’s deadline to restructure Jackson’s contract before they owed him a $4 million roster bonus. Jackson is still owed $4.723 million in salary, $1.7 million in per-game roster bonuses and $200,000 in workout bonuses, none of which is guaranteed, that the Steelers could attempt to renegotiate. If they released or traded Jackson from now on, his roster bonus that was paid salary would become a $4 million dead cap hit. For now, Jackson will still count $10.523 million toward the Steelers’ 2024 cap rolls.

The Steelers restructured Jackson’s contract, as reported on Monday morning by Over the Cap.


Functional 2024 cap space (est.) -$9,424,030 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 Alex Highsmith $13,933,000
Steelers 2024 salary cap (est.) $257,740,191 Larry Ogunjobi $13,283,333
James Daniels $11,166,668
Top 51 salaries $223,032,016 Donte Jackson $10,522,500
Dead cap hits $24,381,069 Isaac Seumalo $10,191,666
Cole Holcomb $7,640,000
Offseason cap space (est.) $10,327,106 Patrick Queen $6,113,333
Nate Herbig $5,460,000
Draft pool $3,013,936 Chris Boswell $4,720,000
End of rule of 51 $1,830,000 Elandon Roberts $4,667,500
Practice squad (est.) $4,000,000 Najee Harris $4,151,460
In-season buffer/injured reserve (est.) $10,000,00 Damontae Kazee $3,875,000
Workout bonuses (placeholder) $907,200 Broderick Jones $3,778,719
Dan Moore Jr. $3,235,000
Justin Fields $3,233,448
DeShon Elliott (est.) $2,625,000
Miles Killebrew $2,255,000
Joey Porter Jr. $2,185,988
Montravius Adams $2,125,000
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
Christian Kuntz $1,163,333
Isaiahh Loudermilk $1,135,072
Calvin Austin III $1,111,084
Nick Herbig $1,083,231
Breiden Fehoko $1,055,000
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
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
Ryan McCollum $915,000

Salary figures from Steelers Now sources, the NFLPA, and