The Pittsburgh Steelers are poised to enter one of the trickest free agent signing periods since the current system began in 1993.
- They’ve got 20 free agents of one variety or another from the 2011 roster, and that's after recently purging it of six players and losing another to retirement.
All of that, and they still remain only 8 to 14 million dollars under the salary cap, depending on whose numbers you believe.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (3)
RB Isaac Redman
DT Steve McLendon
P Jeremy Kapinos
Restricted Free Agents (7)
WR Mike Wallace
TE David Johnson
OT Jamon Meredith
OL Ramon Foster
OL Doug Legursky
CB Keenan Lewis
S Ryan Mundy
Unrestricted Free Agents (10)
QB Charlie Batch
QB Dennis Dixon
QB Byron Leftwich
RB Mewelde Moore
WR Jerricho Cotchery
OT Max Starks
OL Trai Essex
CB William Gay
CB Anthony Madison
P Daniel Sepulveda
Tough Decisions Await the Steelers
A world of scarcity is a world of choices, or so Dr. Peter Meenan, my Economics 102 teacher taught us.
- For the Steelers, salary cap space is scare and they need to make some tough choices.
As Ed Bouchette pointed out in the Post-Gazette last week the Steelers will likely tender Mike Wallace high enough so that they can get a first round pick if they lose him. And, as Bouchette pointed out in PG Plus today, they’ve got little to no choice but to give Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster second round tenders.
Right there that eats up 6.5 million dollars of the Steelers salary cap space. If they’ve currently got 12 or 14 million of cap space, they have some breathing room, but not a lot.
If they’re only 8 or 10 million under the cap, they have very little room to maneuver.
- Consider that the Steelers have already tendered their Exclusive Rights Free agents Issac Redman and Steve McLendon for 1.8 million dollars total.
Assuming that the Steelers tender Keenan Lewis, Ryan Mundy, and David Johnson, which would allow them right of first refusal or a third, 6th, or 7th round draft pick in return for losing them, the Steelers would commit another 3.78 million dollars in salary cap space.
Total all of that up, and the Steelers will have committed 12.08 million dollars to without even thinking of resigning Jerricho Cotchery, William Gay, Byron Leftwich and/or Charlie Batch; or sign their draft picks.
Kevin Colbert and Omar Kahn could still make a few moves. Will Allen could be cut. The Steelers could renegotiate more contracts, although questions abound as to whether deferred to much salary to future years.
Steel Curtain Rising has no access to any inside information nor intimate knowledge of the mechanics of the NFL salary cap. What you see above has been gleamed from public sources and the calculations are over the back of an envelop variety.
- So perhaps the Steelers will find a way to do more with less.
Nonethless, it is safe to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 roster will look quite different from the 2011 edition. In other words, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Chris Kemoeatu, Aaron Smith and Bryant McFadden are far from the only familiar faces that will be missing.
Thanks for visiting. Click here for the rest of Steel Curtain Rising or here to see our Steelers 2012 Free Agent Focus.