The link I'm using to explain this thread was written by Steelers guru Dave Bryan. The guy knows his stuff, and because I can't copy and paste his article, I'll do my best to bring out the key points from it.
For starters, as of the final week of 2013, the Steelers have 34 players under contract for next season. Those 34 players will count for $127 330 089.00 against the cap next year. This number is roughly 6 million over the cap for next season. In addition to the cap charge, there is $461 541 in dead money that is 'on the books' for next season as well. This is where the cold, dead facts stop and the speculation begins.
Now, we can assume that 5 restricted free agents and 2 exclusive free agents will all be tendered, which will keep them on our roster. The projected numbers for these guys is around $7.71 million. This brings our roster to 41 guys but also brings our cap to $135.5 million, or 14 million over the cap.
Let's get into our major guys restructuring. Ben, LT and Woodley restructuring and clearing their cap space in return for a large signing bonus clears out roughly 18.5 million dollars in cap space. Now, remember, we're only 14 million over so these three guys restructuring already brings us under the cap.
If we're going to let go of guys like James Harrison and Willie Colon, we save around another 6.305 million in cap space, bringing our total savings to around 25 million. After these five moves have been made, we're roughly 11 million under the cap. That's not all, however. We can roll over whatever cap savings we didn't have this year - roughly 3 million - onto the 2013 cap, which brings it to about 14 million under the cap.
But wait, there's more! If we release Brett Keisel and Jerricho Cotchery -- something I'm not sure I'm for, being quite honest with you -- we save another 3.835 million in cap space. If all these moves are made, the final cap total will be ...
under the cap for next season.
In other words, we're in good shape to resign the guys we need to for next season. Guys like Manny Sanders, Keenan Lewis and there's a possibility of Mike Wallace if we work the cap correctly.
I encourage you to go and read Dave's full article on the situation as it's more indepth and uses more logistics than just the highlights that I provided.