Rumored NFL Salary Cap Increase a Boon for the Steelers, If It Happens

When Steelers Nation hears the words “Salary Cap” and “Steelers” together that is usually bad news. That’s not so today:

The Steelers, for any number of reasons have found themselves over the cap, by a wide margin, since the 2011 NFL Lockout ended.

  • The Steelers have responded by restructuring contracts. 

While the move has been unavoidable, it is a form of mortgaging the franchise’s future, it has restricted their options tremendously.

It says here that if the Steelers cap situation had been healthy, Keenan Lewis would still call Pittsburgh his home. If press reports are any indication, the Steelers are seriously considering cutting LaMarr Woodley, a move that would result in a tremendous dead money salary cap hit

  • Yet the Steelers got some good news today.

The NFL’s 2014 Salary Cap figures were leaked and the cap is projected to rise approximately 5%. While that may not appear to be a huge increase, it already makes the Steelers situation much more manageable.

Prior today’s announcement, the Steelers were reportedly 13 million over the 2014 cap. The uptick in the cap, if Neal Coolong of Behind the Steel Curtain’s figures are correct, means the Steelers are no only 8 million over the cap.

Can you say Levi Brown? Levi Brown, the player the Steelers traded for who never played a down, is set to cost 6.2 million against the 2014 cap. Going into the off season Brown’s status as a cap casualty was a foregone conclusion. Now the move will deliver much more value, essentially wiping out ¾’s of the Steelers cap overrun in one move.

  • Serious salary cap work remains for the Steelers.

The Steelers don’t simply need to get to the cap, they need to leave space to sign their draft class and sign some of their free agents.

But the move gives them more flexibility. They’ll still need to do some restructures, but hopefully they’ll need fewer of those and the ones the do will not cut as deep.

Things Don’t Happen Until They Do

Dale Lolley spoke with Kevin Colbert about the increase. While Colbert welcomed it, he was quick to caution that “Those numbers start floating around, but they haven’t been substantiated.”

That’s a good word to the wise.

Salary cap information is hard to come by. Its not has hard to fathom as the NFL’s compensatory draft pick system, but immediately after the 2011 CBA, the word was that 2011, 2012, and 2013 were projected as “Flat cap” years with the cap expected to rise after that. But since the “Flat Cap Era” has been pronounced.

Things don’t happen until they happen.

Thanks for visiting. Click here for the rest of Steel Curtain Rising or here to see our Steelers 2014 Free Agent Focus.

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