Thursday, February 28, 2013

Your Steelers are now under the cap

With three strokes of the pen, the Steelers have gotten themselves under the NFL salary cap, which now appears as if is going to be $123.9 million, an increase of about $2.3 million from 2012.

After restructuring the contracts of Lawrence Timmons, at a savings of $5.3 million, Antonio Brown at $3 million and Ben Roethlisberger at $6 million, the Steelers pared $14.3 million from their cap, which should put them under as they needed to be by March 12.

That's significant because the team did not need to release any players to get to that number and still has enough wiggle room by restructuring, say, LaMarr Woodley's deal, to be somewhat active in free agency.

Next up, however, will be deciding upon tender offers to their own restricted free agents.

As I've stated before, there could be some surprises there. I wouldn't be shocked if linebacker Stevenson Sylvester and running back Jonathan Dwyer weren't tendered offers, which would make them unrestricted free agents March 12.

What the Steelers will not likely do with their newfound cap space is make a late run at their potential unrestricted free agents - unless it were a veteran such as Casey Hampton or Charlie Batch at a minimum deal.

They'll let guys such as Keenan Lewis, Mike Wallace and Ramon Foster test the open market to set the contract price and then see if they can match or better a deal that is offered - if it is offered.

@ The additional cap space could also allow the Steelers to make a pitch to free agent wideout Steve Breaston, who was in town Thursday to meet with the team.

@ The Steelers claimed quarterback John Parker Wilson off waivers from Jacksonville.

The 27-year-old Wilson, a former Alabama star, has not appeared in a regular season game in the NFL, but spent three seasons with Atlanta before joining the Jaguars last season.

He's not much more than a camp arm at this point.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well all those cap fears were much ado about nothing.

Patrick said...

Keenan Lewis gets to test the market and he is gone. Just can't see the Steelers matching what he gets offered.

Surprised Colon hasn't been cut yet.

Dale Lolley said...

No need to cut Colon at this point. Now, if they get into a situation where there's a player they really want, that might happen. But the savings is just $1.2 million.

The Steelers don't make a move until they absolutely have to. The reason for that is you never know what's going to happen. Think about it this way: Let's say they cut Colon and a week later, one of the guys you were counting on to replace him gets in a car accident. Then where are you at?

As for Lewis, don't overestimate the market for a corner who has one career interception. Do I think Lewis is going to get paid? Yes. But I think he knows that his best playing situation is here. He talked to Bryant McFadden. He knows that just because you sign a big deal today, doesn't mean they won't cut you after a year.
I think Lewis will be back.

Patrick said...

Makes sense why don't make a move until you have to, but it seems like a foregone conclusion that they aren't going to pay him that salary given 1) his injury history, 2) their movement towards leaner/more mobile lineman, and 3) the need to create some cap room at some point.

And I disagree on Lewis for the simple fact that hes 26 and the difference in bonus money from the other team compared to what the Steelers can offer will be too much to turn down. Corners seem to get overpaid in FA and lots of teams need them.

I hope he comes back, he was lights out last year. And I don't think Cortez Allen is as good as some make him out to be.

Viktor said...

With K. Lewis I think he has not yet proven to be an elite DB just jet; teams will be wary of paying him elite DB money because he might be seen as a system DB ala D-Mac.

Mr. Lolley, if it came down to Vaccaro or Mingo who do you think gets to wear the black and gold?

Steve-O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I really hope they can make something happen with Keenan Lewis. Everyone else is free to go. I think the market won't be as strong as expected for some of these guys, and they may be back (like perhaps Starks)

marc said...

it's hard to predict what will happen with lewis because it only takes one desperate team to pay him big bucks and he will be gone.

he certainly hasn't earned the designation of "elite", but he did prove his value last year.

the steelers are actually in a good position if they want to be active in free agency. there's more contracts they could restructure and some older vets to let go, if they wanted the room. as always, kahn knows what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

if the Steelers want to save money, dont let Woodley go to the all you can eat buffet

Anonymous said...

IF they bring back all of the old vets and let any of the young talent go (excluding wallace who everyone knows is gone), it is a gigantic mistake. This team was an 8-8 team last yr. And that is exactly what they will be again next yr if it is the same team. Ridiculous to not let the younger talent play.

marc said...

based on colbert's previous comments, i think we're gonna see some vets go.

Dale Lolley said...

Colbert made those comments in an attempt to get some vets keen on the idea of taking a pay cut - Harrison, Colon. I think they go to those two next and ask them to take cuts.
Neither is going to command a big deal on the open market.

As for Lewis, he got another good example of what happens to Pittsburgh players elsewhere when William Gay was released today. There are too many good corners on the market this year for Lewis to command a huge salary on the open market.

marc said...

i don't see harrison accepting a pay cut.

Dale Lolley said...

What they would likely do with Harrison is offer a year extension that will lower his cap hit this year to allow him to save face.

Anonymous said...

If Lewis walks on us, how realistic would it be to see Will Gay back in a steeler's uniform? I expect it would be the exact situation we had with Bryant McFadden, Gay could come in and solidify the nickel corner spot as Cortez bumps to the opposite side of Ike.

Dale Lolley said...

That could be a possibility. He's actually not bad at the nickel spot.

Anonymous said...

Flacco... 6yrs/120 million??? That's the best news the steelers got all off season! Week 10 everyone wondered if he was the future as ravens qb. Now he's the highest paid player in nfl history. Boldin should get half.

Anonymous said...

As for Lewis, don't overestimate the market for a corner who has one career interception.

What does Ike make? Kidding. I expect something similar to what Brown got. Which is less than what Webb got last year, and wouldn't pay him more than Ike. And Brown had a first year cap hit of a little more than $2m. So net cap impact minus replacement cost would be around $1.5ish. Seems doable.

Dale Lolley said...

I think Lewis gets done at four years for about $24 million.

Anonymous said...

If that's what it takes, why take the risk of an open market? Sign him now. Or do you think that is his sobering open market value that brings him back?

Dale Lolley said...

That's probably slightly below what he thinks he can get right now on the open market. Actually, I think four years between 24 and 28 million get it done.
But sometimes, a player wants to look around, be wined and dined a little bit, as well. There's no real hurry. I think he'll be back.
Not to mention the fact that, right now, the Steelers don't have the available cap space to do a deal like that.

Anonymous said...

Is Gay back?

Anonymous said...

Gay is back! That leaves Ike on one side, Cortez opposite and Gay will b the nickel. I don't think steelers will keep Lewis. Just my opinion I'm sure Dale can shed some light on what this signing means

Steve-O said...

I read Gay's tweet earlier and he said he's glad he didn't sell his condo in Pittsburgh. Not sure what that means but it sure sounds like he's interested.

marc said...

i'm sure they are getting Gay cheaply. just another example of the steelers staying flexible and positioning themselves to negotiate with lewis.