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August 9th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

I've seen a lot of posts about people asking why we're always in the salary cap situation we're in, and why we don't have the money to go out and get the 'big name free agents' or make any kind of significant splash in free agency. There's multiple reasons for this (one being you can't buy Super Bowls - ask the Eagles) but I'm going to explain the significant one. The only constant throughout why we're always looking for ways to get just above the cap.

Ben Roethlisberger.

Let me get this out of the way right now: I am not asking for us to trade or release Ben Roethlisberger. He's an integral part of this organization and whatever future success we're going to have over the next 5 - 6 years.

Roethlisberger is due for 19.5 million dollars this season. 20 million dollars on any cap hit is substantial. 1/6th of the teams cap is going directly to the Quarterback but that's the important thing to keep in mind - he's a franchise Quarterback. There's a general constant among the top 6 Quarterbacks or the 'elite' and their teams when it comes to the cap - they don't have a lot of breathing room. Let's take a look.

(all numbers are pre-free agency and subject to change)


New Orleans Saints - 20.6 million over the cap
Pittsburgh Steelers - 13.8 million over the cap
New York Giants - 10 million over the cap
Green Bay Packers - 5.8 million under the cap
Denver Broncos - 14.9 million under the cap
New England Patriots - 15.8 million under the cap

Those are generally recognized as the 'elite' or top 6 in the NFL, but in order of their cap situation and not talent rating. Now, it's important to note that 4 of the 6 are in pretty rough cap shape heading into the offseason. The two that aren't - the Pats and Broncos - have some guys that are going to be getting a pay raise and thus, they're not going to be swimming in cap room either. Having a franchise Quarterback is both a blessing and a curse, but the pro's definitely outweigh the con's. Having someone like Ben to be the leader and Captain of this team is why we're never able to make any kind of splash in free agency even if we wanted to.

I really hope these 'lets get Percy Harvin!' and 'let's go grab x guy and give him a huge contract!' posts can stop. It boils down to, would you rather have a lucrative free agent pick up, or Ben Roethlisberger? To me, it's a no-brainer.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

Great post. Steelers never make a splash but we need some pieces in free agency
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

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Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
I've seen a lot of posts about people asking why we're always in the salary cap situation we're in, and why we don't have the money to go out and get the 'big name free agents' or make any kind of significant splash in free agency. There's multiple reasons for this (one being you can't buy Super Bowls - ask the Eagles) but I'm going to explain the significant one. The only constant throughout why we're always looking for ways to get just above the cap.

Ben Roethlisberger.

Let me get this out of the way right now: I am not asking for us to trade or release Ben Roethlisberger. He's an integral part of this organization and whatever future success we're going to have over the next 5 - 6 years.

Roethlisberger is due for 19.5 million dollars this season. 20 million dollars on any cap hit is substantial. 1/6th of the teams cap is going directly to the Quarterback but that's the important thing to keep in mind - he's a franchise Quarterback. There's a general constant among the top 6 Quarterbacks or the 'elite' and their teams when it comes to the cap - they don't have a lot of breathing room. Let's take a look.

(all numbers are pre-free agency and subject to change)


New Orleans Saints - 20.6 million over the cap
Pittsburgh Steelers - 13.8 million over the cap
New York Giants - 10 million over the cap
Green Bay Packers - 5.8 million under the cap
Denver Broncos - 14.9 million under the cap
New England Patriots - 15.8 million under the cap

Those are generally recognized as the 'elite' or top 6 in the NFL, but in order of their cap situation and not talent rating. Now, it's important to note that 4 of the 6 are in pretty rough cap shape heading into the offseason. The two that aren't - the Pats and Broncos - have some guys that are going to be getting a pay raise and thus, they're not going to be swimming in cap room either. Having a franchise Quarterback is both a blessing and a curse, but the pro's definitely outweigh the con's. Having someone like Ben to be the leader and Captain of this team is why we're never able to make any kind of splash in free agency even if we wanted to.

I really hope these 'lets get Percy Harvin!' and 'let's go grab x guy and give him a huge contract!' posts can stop. It boils down to, would you rather have a lucrative free agent pick up, or Ben Roethlisberger? To me, it's a no-brainer.
This a great post and lays out our current situation to a T.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

13.6 mil over isnt all that bad this off season. A lot of players we can let go and cut the deficit rather quickly. The key will be who to bring in.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

We keep in mind that figure does not include any FA tenders.... From what I understand, with tenders and no restructuring, we could be in excess of $21 million over.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

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13.6 mil over isnt all that bad this off season. A lot of players we can let go and cut the deficit rather quickly. The key will be who to bring in.
Correct. Restructuring contracts will be a big help to cutting the cap deficit. Kevin Colbert is a master at that concept. Let's hope he will come through again this off-season.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

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This a great post and lays out our current situation to a T.
Lots of teams have hefty QB tabs...Our problem is the heavy totals of contracts on the defensive side of the ball...
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

Our problem is we pay 3 linebackers way to much and at this point nnone of them are that good and yes that inudes Timmons. Once again I will ask if people watch other games because you will see how bad Timmons is down for down. His few plays a year are nice but he gets owned play after play
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

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Our problem is we pay 3 linebackers way to much and at this point nnone of them are that good and yes that inudes Timmons. Once again I will ask if people watch other games because you will see how bad Timmons is down for down. His few plays a year are nice but he gets owned play after play
Timmons is widely regarded as one of the most underrated ILBs in the entire league. Go look at any site (FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN, BR) and look at articles written about Lawrence.

He doesn't 'get owned' and he isn't bad 'down for down' at all, actually. He has to compensate for playing with an old and slow Linebacker in the middle and thus has to take on Larry's job as well. He's playing both Inside Linebacker positions and he's doing a pretty damn good job doing it, too.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why We're Always in "Salary Cap Hell"

We all know that the Steelers never really went after the big tag players. Its one of the things i like most about them. In the days of Chuck Noll it was their theory to take a no body and mold them into a great player. Im not saying that they didn't select some good players but, its not that they were big contract guys either.
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