The Steelers have approximately $9 million in salary cap space after releasing starting cornerback Steven Nelson on Tuesday, though only about half of that is truly usable for the team.
According to Steelers Now analysis and salary data from the NFLPA, OvertheCap.com and various other sources, the Steelers have $9.015 million in cap space with Nelson’s $8.5 million salary off the books, his $6.17 million in deferred bonus shifted to dead money and an additional contract added to the top 51.
After factoring in the team’s draft pool, the final two contracts that will need added to the roster before the start of the season, the team’s practice squad and some in-season wiggle room, the Steelers could realistically use about half of that space at the most to sign external free agents or re-sign any of the team’s remaining free agents.
Punter Jordan Berry, running back James Conner, safeties Jordan Dangerfield and Sean Davis, outside linebackers Jayrone Elliott and Cassius Marsh, tackle Alejandra Villanueva and inside linebacker Avery Williamson remain free agents.
The Steelers can still create more space by restructuring the contracts of kicker Chris Boswell and defensive end Stephon Tuitt. That would save them approximately another $5 million.