View Full Version : A Realistic Look at Steelers Cap Situation Going Forward

tony hipchest
01-28-2011, 10:08 PM
thers seems to be a sense of panic in steelernation that we are doomed because ike and woodley are free agents. some people actually think we are flirting with salary cap hell like the redskins, cowboys, and jets.

that couldnt be further from the truth.

the reality of the matter is that omar kaahn, kevin colbert, and art rooney II are some of the best in the business when it comes to cap management.

here is a listing of all the players cap value for this season (2010) totaling $132 mil-


now the best salary cap breakdowns i have seen is deljzc on the official website board and steelersalarycap.com (who no longer has a site). but those are olds. current information is alot more difficult to find. i havent seen postgazette do a chart of all salaries in years. how these things are structured are "tricks of the trade" and i assume thats why this information is so heavilly guarded now (especially considereing the current labor situation).

here are the raw projections for 2011 which total about $100mil. (this is a true and tried formula capologists use to try and figure out the caps of other teams.)

A Look at the Steelers' Future Salary Cap Situation

Some notes: Most of this data has been taken from Rotoworld, which has a lot of typically scarce NFL salary data. For a good number of these contracts, they have salary breakdowns for each year. For the contracts that don't have those breakdowns (marked with an *), I just divided the contract amount by the number of years, which is rarely how they're actually structured. I'm calculating signing bonus cap hits the same way, which is a more valid but not bulletproof assumption. There are (or were) a bunch of weird rules for calculating cap space which I'm not going to attempt to figure out. Also, I'm estimating $17.5M/yr for roster filler, including 3rd round or later rookies and cheap FA pickups to fill out the roster (25 spots x $700k avg.). I'm going to guess that these numbers are about +/- $15M.

now by my own calculations, the cap in 2011 should be around $142 mil (purposefully conservative). since 2006 the cap steadilly rose by 7 mil/year. in 2009 there was a late bump to 128mil (probably to assist teams like cowboys and redskins who were grossly over extended). had there been a cap in 2010 i am assuming it would be the same increase of 7mil = 135mil (steelers kept it at 132).

using this extrapolation takes it to 142.

Year Maximum Team Salary
2009 $123 million
2008 $116 million
2007 $109 million
2006 $102 million
2005 $85.5 million


now alot of things can change between march 03 and the next time a cba is in place. while the nfl's revenues are growing, the owners insist their profits are decreasing. no matter how you slice it, the league will distribute a certain percentage to all teams for player salary, and it most likely will be capped.

history says theyre will be plenty of money (atleast $42mil to sign the likes of ike, woodley, sepulveda, and colon, and plenty left over to extend wallace, and troy.

this isnt even taking into consideration if hines, farrior, and smith arent here (which would equal another 16mil).

even if some of these numbers are off because of speculation or extrapolation, the fact of the matter remains-

the steelers are in great shape moving forward.

El Nino
01-28-2011, 10:18 PM
we should be good. honestly it ain't the end of the world if woodley doesn't get re-signed (though he probably will). Worilds was drafted I think as insurance incase we couldn't reach a deal with woodley. ike should be a priority, as well as colon.

hey at least we aren't the jets. don't they have like 18 free agents?

01-28-2011, 10:24 PM
i think Smith will either take a pay cut or be gone.. his contract is just too high with Hood having emerged and Woodley and Ike needing resigned. Farrior will be back.. and i think Hines will come back regardless of what happens next week. although part of my reasoning is i just cannot imagine the Steelers without Ward.

El Nino
01-28-2011, 10:25 PM
i think Smith will either take a pay cut or be gone.. his contract is just too high with Hood having emerged and Woodley and Ike needing resigned.

yeah i was thinking that. smith is getting paid way too high to be a backup, and it looks like hood has surpassed him.

love smith and would hate to see him get the axe, but such is life in the NFL.

also add gay to the list of players who need to be signed. He's not a shutdown corner by any means but he is a VERY solid nickel back.

01-28-2011, 10:58 PM
also add gay to the list of players who need to be signed. He's not a shutdown corner by any means but he is a VERY solid nickel back.

I'm not getting my hopes up with him...some team will probably make him starter, which he'll probably take.

tony hipchest
01-28-2011, 11:16 PM
if smith can play. i dont think he gets the ax. someone along with eason, has got to back up keisel and hood.

look at ward and farrior, getting new contracts when many thought they were over the hill (at a reduced cost).

as for clark and keisel, both signed new deals that were dirt cheap relative to market value and both made the pro bowl and will be starting in their 2nd superbowl.

alot of these players (who many think are too expensive) will want to prove they can make it to a superbowl 2 years in a row and be part of something special and will probably take the hometown discount to do so.

with gay and colon (..:chuckle:...) teams may look at b mcfadden, nate washington, and c. hope and just figure they are system players not worthy of a big contract outside of pittsburgh = reduced value).

01-29-2011, 08:03 AM
I think Woodley has stated publicly that he wants to remain a Steeler and would even take a home town discount to remain here. I don't think he'll be looking to break the bank. A fair contract will land him.

Atlanta Dan
01-29-2011, 08:56 AM
Steelers track record this past decade has been to figure out a way to keep the FAs they need and let those go who can be replaced (Porter/Hope) - helps in keeping players to be an organization where players know if they stay they have a good shot to play on the big stage regularly - only recent significant loss I can recall where someone else did not step up was when Faneca left, but there were some issues there beyond $$ (Faneca was pi**ed his drinking buddy Grimm was not hired & IMO Tomlin wanted him out of the mix) and he did not have much left in the tank when the Jets paid big $$ for him

Think Chris Hope wonders if he should have considered taking a discount to stay and play with Polamalu after 2005 rather than sign up with the dysfunctional Titans?

01-29-2011, 09:11 AM
Worilds was drafted as an insurance policy? Perhaps the policy was purchased from a D rate insurer, lol

Wow you really think highly of Woodley, lol

tony hipchest
02-24-2011, 09:40 AM
as per pat kirwan- There are projections that estimate the 2011 salary cap could be in the neighborhood of $150 million per team, if and when there is a new CBA.


02-24-2011, 10:10 AM
I think we'll be fine. I think most of the FA's will want to stick around just for the reason we are superbowl contenders. The grass isn't always greener, ask Faneca.

Keeping Gay isn't a must.