The contract breakdowns for all of the Pittsburgh Steelers free agent moves to this point have been released, and so the team’s salary cap situation can once again be accurately calculated.
Following the signings of tight end Zach Gentry, nose tackle Breiden Fehoko and safety Keanu Neal, the Steelers have approximately $9.8 million in available space under the top 51 offseason salary cap limit. In terms of functional cap space for 2023, the Steelers need to clear over $10 million in cap space between now and the start of the season.
The Steelers deal with Gentry is for one year and will carry a maximum cap hit of $1.2325 million, as was reported on Thursday by Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston.
The salaries of Fehoko and Neal have both been reported by OvertheCap.com, with Fehoko’s one-year deal worth the league minimum of $940,000. Neal’s two-year, $4.25-million contract includes a $920,000 signing bonus spread out over the two years of the contract and salaries of $1.08 million in 2023 and $2.25 million in 2024, according to OTC. That leaves Neal’s salary cap hit for 2023 at $1.54 million.
By Steelers Now calculations, the Steelers currently have an estimated $9.844 million available in current salary cap space, which includes a placeholder for workout bonuses to be paid over the next month.
Between now and the start of the regular season, the Steelers also have to account for signing their rookie class ($3.38 million), the end of the rule of 51 ($1.88 million), signing a practice squad (approximately $5 million) and room to put players on injured reserve and have a cushion to make in-season moves (approximately $10 million).
That puts the Steelers at functionally $10.4 million over the cap.
They have multiple ways of making up the difference, the easiest of which would be to restructure the contract out outside linebacker T.J. Watt. Restructuring Watt would save the team $12.61 million in 2023, pushing that money into future seasons. Watt’s 2023 salary is already guaranteed, so it would have no impact on the amount of guaranteed money in his contract.