With the Pittsburgh Steelers In a difficult situation with wage caps for the 2021 season, there has been much discussion about which players could fall victim to caps this off-season. While there are several players who can save the Steelers a lot of space below the salary cap, I’ve already described the players on the team who would cost more against the cap than to keep them for the season.
It also described the players who could save the Steelers some space, but the dead money would be a lot to overcome. For clarity, “dead money” is the amount that has already been paid to a player who has not yet been posted below the salary cap.
In the third and final installment of the series, let’s look at the players who can save the Steelers a significant place below the salary cap compared to their dead money.
Here is a list of the six Steelers who will have a higher cap than their dead money if they are released for the 2021 season. The list was at seven this morning, but with the resignation of Vance McDonald, who saved the Steelers $ 5.2 million from the salary cap, the number has dropped to six (one of which is just a technical matter). To keep the list under control and not get a lot of rookie deals to match the description but actually save a lot of money, these players are the ones whose cap hit is more than $ 1.5 million. Granted, some of these players, the Steelers, wouldn’t consider moving on anytime soon because of their production on the field. But whether or not her departure is likely given her salary cap, it never hurts to know the numbers. All numbers listed are courtesy of overhecap.com and consider if the player was cut before June 1st.
Dead money: $ 5,547,500
Cap Savings: $ 8,750,000
The Steelers’ decision when it comes to David DeCastro is a little difficult. With six Stright Pro Bowl DeCastro has been an integral part of the Steelers offensive line for eight seasons. But at 31, is he worth the $ 8.75 million the Steelers could save on the salary cap? Given its age, an extension isn’t something the Steelers are guaranteed to be looking for. The Steelers could deal either way with DeCastro for 2021.
Dead money: USD 6,475,000
Cap Savings: $ 8,000,000
A lot like DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey has a little more dead money and a little less savings on salary caps. Pouncey has made the Pro Bowl every NFL season that he has played 8+ snaps and also has two all-pro selections. Steelers cannot half-decide what to do with Pouncey as it may be his decision to hang it up. If not, they have to decide whether the extra $ 8 million for their aging center is worth it.
Dead money: $ 6,170,000
Cap Savings: $ 8,250,000
Unlike many others on this list, Nelson isn’t a player whose age is a big factor. Since today is his 28th birthday, Nelson would be a prime candidate for the Steelers to roll over and knock down some of the $ 8.25 million he expects this season. While releasing Nelson is an option and not just playing his contract last year, the Steelers would be foolish not to try and work out an extension.
Dead money: $ 3,031,668
Cap Savings: $ 4,000,000
Another player over 30, Vince Williams turned 31 in December and played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for eight years. Despite being a fierce run stopper, Williams is exposed when prompted in the pass cover. With the return of Devin Bush next season and other young players like exclusive outlaw agent Robert Spillane looking for game time, Williams’ release would save the Steelers $ 4 million on the salary cap.
Dead money: USD 2,500,000
Cap Savings: $ 6,000,000
When Ebron signed with the Steelers last season, he was basically getting half of his salary last year and the other half this season. Of course, $ 2.5 million of that money was raised from 2020 to 2021 to save space for salary caps. Ebron is nowhere near as much about the dead money as when the Steelers plan to pay him $ 6 million in the coming season. With Vance McDonald’s resignation, there would be a big hole if the Ebron Steelers moved on.
Dead money: $ 0
Cap Savings: $ 10,089,000
This is only included because from that moment on it fits into the category. Remember, these lists aren’t players the Steelers realistically consider, just the ones that fit into each category. Before the new league year, the Steelers were technically able to part with TJ Watt and had no dead money and did not owe him his option for the fifth year. But even taking that term into account, stupidity is layered on top of stupidity covered in stupidity. If the Steelers did anything to TJ Watt this off-season, it would be his upcoming monster deal. The Steelers also have the option to play off Watt’s fifth year and use the franchise day next season to have time to work out their deal for 2022. In both cases, Watt’s contract is fully guaranteed on the third day of the new league year and only changes with a new deal. If TJ is playing around $ 10 million this season, he’s still an absolute bargain.
So these are the seven players currently under contract with the Steelers with a salary cap that is more than their dead money. While cutting one of these players comes with some wage cap cost, the money has already been paid out to the player so they will no longer pull money out of their pocket when released. This is of course strictly from a numbers perspective. Given the performance on the field, some of these players are no pipe dream while others may be looking for the call from the Steelers’ front office in the next few weeks.