View Full Version : Salary cap flexibility could be costly for the Steelers

07-31-2011, 12:41 AM
The Steelers will utilize one-time exemptions that provide $3 million in salary-cap relief this season. Beyond that, a number of things could happen this week: The Steelers must get in compliance with the salary cap, which will be $123.375 million for them, by Thursday.

They could cut more veterans with hefty cap numbers, as they did with tackles Max Starks and Flozell Adams and receiver Antwaan Randle El. Those moves provided around $12 million in salary-cap dollars. But the Steelers also signed cornerback Ike Taylor and tackle Willie Colon as well as their entire draft class, offsetting those gains and leaving them with roughly $7 million to $10 million to trim to get under the cap.
Director of football operations Kevin Colbert said Saturday that the Steelers may have to make more cuts based on salary. But he is hopeful that the Steelers can get in compliance with the cap -- starting Thursday, only the 51 highest salaries count against it -- by restructuring and renegotiating contracts.

"I think we can (avoid cutting players for salary-cap reasons) based on what we have right now," Colbert said. "This thing will change daily, as it has since it opened up, and we have to be ready to try to make the best moves we can to help our team."
Translation: The Steelers will stay open to improving the team through free agency, as demonstrated by their courtship of receiver Plaxico Burress.

More additions inevitably will lead to subtraction, but one way to lower a salary cap number is to increase spending. Take outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley for example.
The Steelers signed him to a one-year, $10 million deal in February after using the franchise tag. The sides are expected to talk about a long-term contract this week. And if the Steelers get a deal done before Thursday, the signing bonus would be spread out evenly over the life of the contract -- and actually provide salary-cap relief.

"It was said, once the CBA gets worked out, we're going to work out a long-term deal, so only time will tell," Woodley said. "I'm not going to make a big deal out of it and have it on my mind every day. I still have to go out and practice every day and get ready to get back to that Super Bowl."

The contracts that the Steelers restructure and renegotiate likely won't be made official until Wednesday evening after practice. The reason for that is simple: Due to a rule that nobody seems to understand the logic of, free agents or players who receive new deals are not allowed to practice until Thursday, the first day of the new NFL calendar.

If the Steelers announced a deal with Woodley on Tuesday, they would have to bar him from practicing again until Thursday. As Colbert said, "Right now, practice time is very valuable because we're so far behind."

From the Trib (http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/Steelers%20seek%20salary-cap%20flexibility%20-%20Pittsburgh%20Tribune-Review%20http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_749276.html#ixzz1TeeLTXI0)

07-31-2011, 12:44 AM
The Steelers front office are absolute masters at manipulating the salary cap. They get every last dollar, literally, using every unique method available to get cap compliant each season. This year will be more difficult than most with so little time to work deals and improve your team, and since there was no cap last year.

If they don't sign Plax, they should be able to restructure current players deals and be ok. If Plax comes in though, it could mean cuts for some other veterans are on the way. They won't break the bank or release a key player in order to land Plax, but if they can work the deal for a reasonable price they'll do it.

07-31-2011, 05:58 AM
After Woodley extends, Smith/Ben restructures, and we cut Arnaz Battle, we'll be under the cap and may have enough room to sign Plax.

07-31-2011, 07:27 AM
Is there a site that shpows teams caps and what players make??

this is the stuff that i cant figure out, the steelers are capped out and the colts are not??

Manning agreed to a five-year, $90 million deal that, according to Irsay, will pay his quarterback $69 million during the first three years.

Irsay described the contract as "cap friendly" on his Twitter page, and sources told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi that the owner assured Manning that the Colts would be aggressive in free agency.

"Signing Peyton was a top priority for this organization and we are thrilled that the deal is complete," Irsay said in a statement released by the team Saturday. "We feel that it is a salary-cap friendly deal and it allows us more flexibility."

do the steelers need a cap accountant?

07-31-2011, 12:51 PM
The Steelers are one of the best in the league every year at utilizing every available cap number possible. I don't ever second guess Kevin Colbert and his team to get the players we need in camp and under contract. Remember, last year there was no cap and there were a lot of teams worse off than the Steelers. The thing that killed them this year was signing Woodley to that 1 year franchise tag deal. He costs 10 million against the cap, which is a killer when you ride so close to the edge. His deal needs redone long term to give them alittle breathing room.

Also remember teams must spend atleast 90% of their available cap allowance each year. That forces team like the Bengals who before the weekend were almost 50 million UNDER the cap.

Here is a list of where the teams were last year: (http://nflfootballnow.com/2011/07/21/2011-nfl-salary-cap-and-floor-where-32-teams-stand/)

Arizona $83 million
Atlanta $102.1 million
Baltimore $101.3 million
Buffalo $96.4 million
Carolina $73 million
Chicago $104.9 million
Cincinnati $90.7 million
Cleveland $99.2 million
Dallas $136.6 million
Denver $125 million
Detroit $113.8 million
Green Bay $129.8 million
Houston $118.4 million
Indianapolis $115.5 million
Jacksonville $78.1 million
Kansas City $74.7 million
Miami $103.1 million
Minnesota $108.4 million
New England $102.3 million
New Orleans $105.2 million
New York Giants $126.3 million
New York Jets $128.5 million
Oakland $85.8 million
Philadelphia $80.8 million
Pittsburgh $116 million
San Diego $85.8 million
San Francisco $100.9 million
Seattle $81.1 million
St. Louis $102.4 million
Tampa Bay $59.7 million
Tennessee $107.4 million
Washington $115.2 million

07-31-2011, 01:02 PM
ok, cool.. now plax is a jet... ???

07-31-2011, 09:22 PM
New York Jets $128.5 million
Oakland $85.8 million
Philadelphia $80.8 million
Pittsburgh $116 million

I don't understand then, how the Jets had enough money to go after Nnamdi (sp?) and pay him ~12 per if htey were already over, yet the Steelers, who were under, seem to be struggling with the cap.

And the fact that teams like Philly and Oakland are so low, could cause (is causing) them to be foolish and give out bad deals that will affect everyone else in the next few years.

07-31-2011, 09:33 PM
Remember those were numbers heading into this season. Since that list was put out teams did a ton of maneuvering with their rosters by cutting players, restructuring deals, and using exemptions agreed upon in the 2011 CBA deal recently ratified by the NFLPA and the Owners. The Jets were cutting players left and right and trying to restructure deals with multiple players in their efforts to land Nnamdi. In the end they couldn't free up enough money and the Eagles swooped in and snagged him.

When these high priced UFA's become available every year it's always fun to watch teams scramble to free up cap space to try and sign the big name.