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Cap Reality

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by SteelersFanIrl, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    I listened to a good podcast over the weekend in relation to the Steelers Cap situation for the upcoming season. It’s the BTSC podcast hosted by Lance Williams, he had a special guest Ian Whetstone who I hadn’t heard of, he was very knowledgeable about the cap and is a Steelers fan. It’s well worth an hour of your time to listen to but some takeaways:

    • Steelers have under $2m in cap space as things stand assuming the cap increases by approximately $10m
    • They need $8m - $9m to re-sign their restricted free agents, Hilton, Feiler and Banner, none of whom they can afford to lose imo
    • They also need $3m - $4m to sign their rookie draft class
    • They need to keep up to $5m approx free for injury cover and other emergencies
    • Ability to restructure contracts is severely hampered this off season due to the 30% rule, total savings is estimated at $10m if they restructure everyone they feasibly can
    • No post June cuts this year, everyone cut will count against the 2020 cap barring a new CBA being agreed beforehand (unlikely)
    • Foster and Chickillo are virtually certain to be cut saving $9m
    • Watt will need to be paid this off season or next at the latest, he will be looking to be the highest paid defensive player in football, north of $20m per year
    • In relation to free agents, they felt that Hargrave and Finney are almost certainly gone, they simply can not afford to keep them unfortunately
    • Bud can be kept but there really isn’t any way to do it without cutting Barron & McDonald, and probably Alualu, all of whom play a lot of first team snaps. Losing McDonald in particular would be very hard to take given that Vannett is also a FA. They would be down to Gentry as the starter. You could draft somebody but rookie TE’s are not generally impact players and if you sign Bud you can forget about any other free agency moves
    I think there is a feeling among some fans that the Steelers always figure these things out, but they are in a really tough spot here imo. They have stated that Bud is their number one priority this off season but some of the cuts required to keep him are going to really hurt the team.

    At this point my preference is to cut Foster and Chick, re-sign their RFA’s and rookies and generally stabilise the roster. I think I’d let Bud walk away and try to pick up a more affordable free agent.

    Some very difficult choices to make and not enough money to go around. It’s going to be an interesting off season on the business end of things.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  2. SteelerJJ

    SteelerJJ Well-Known Member

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    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Steel Hog

    Steel Hog Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion and experience in doing budgets for decades before retiring, I believe that before Colbert makes a deal with the players, they have already figured out a way to deal with the impact at the time and down the road. I don't believe they make deals and begin to figure it out down the road and try and make things work out. They are playing chess and they have thought of where they are going 4 moves down the road and how to fit all the pieces. I believe they already have a plan to deal with the cap situation and are not advertising what it is which is very smart. They may already know who is staying an who isn't so they are playing this close to the vest. I could be completely out in left field on this but that is my opinion based on how they seem to do this many times in the past. So all of the experts analysis on what we are going to do cap wise is just speculation and entertainment. Kind of like worthless mock drafts.
     
  4. thesteeldeal

    thesteeldeal Well-Known Member

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    Nice job...thanks
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Yes of course, I have no doubt they are planning well ahead, that is their job. We can only speculate what moves they have in mind.

    Looking at it, they have fairly limited room for manoeuvre though. There are no silver bullet solutions, and no easy or painless way to keep everyone that they want to keep.
     
  6. Stone

    Stone Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! And I don't think teams sit one player away, or sit with one player hampering them, they always seem to find a way.

    Rules are meant to be bent, twisted, shoved, tweaked, stapled, stretched, mutilated, and otherwise ignored in the NFL
     
  7. SteelerGlenn

    SteelerGlenn

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    Foster, Chickillo and Barron are as good as gone. Maybe McDonald depending on who they draft.
    It would be risky, but they could extend Big Ben to help. ( before someone gets all worked up I’m not suggesting they do this. Just saying it’s possible)
    Cap will more than likely go up more than anticipated.
     
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  8. Jujubean

    Jujubean Well-Known Member

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    Ben and his Bum Elbow better work a miracle this offseason. We are completely in debt to him both on and off the field.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Barron would be the only one of that trio that I would consider keeping.

    If they all go that gets you about $14m between them, enough to sign your RFA’s and rookie class. The question thereafter is where you find the money for Bud
     
  10. Chainmover1

    Chainmover1 Well-Known Member

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    The cap situation may not be as bleak as many think. First of all the cap has been raised at least 8M. Possibly as much as 12M.

    Letting Chick and Foster go [Hundreds have posted this] saves what? 8 9M. The payroll is 12M less if they opt out on Dupree.
    Then numerous other cuts have been suggested if necessary.
    The point is at least one top FA could easily be managed.

    Does anyone recall Colbert's 1st year here. He brought in Jeff Hartings, an all pro guard who later became a major force here at center.
    Find something like that in the FA market and add a couple lucky picks in the draft--

    The Steelers are back in business.
     
  11. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    The current projections whereby they have under $2m of Cap available includes the expected increase in the cap. I think they have estimated a $10m increase on ‘overthecap’ so if it’s $12m there will be a few million extra available over and above the projected $2m
     
  12. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    Steelers depot has been saying Heyward is a likely candidate for a extension, if they decline McDonald's option that will save 5.6 million.
     
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  13. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    This.


    I will also add that Cameron Heyward is likely to receive an extension. Guy has been playing out of his mind. Here is hoping he can continue to do so in his early 30s.
     
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  14. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Cam is going in to his last year and is coming off an All Pro season, he is a virtual certainty for an extension. Don’t count on it saving a tonne of money vs the cap though, with the 30% rule in play they can’t backload guys the way they always have.

    I would only cut McDonald as a last resort. Who is going to play TE if they cut him? Even if they sign Vannette he is average at best and offers no redzone threat at all. A rookie, even a very good one will take time to settle in, possibly a whole season. Gentry is totally unproven. They may be able to work something out with McDonald to get his number down but I expect that he will stay.
     
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  15. Chainmover1

    Chainmover1 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I just saw that. Total Cap Liabilities: $207,770,414 Top 51: $199,081,452 Team Cap Space: $1,430,970

    But where did it go? Because I just saw the following this afternoon---

    "Business is good in the NFL. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the league informed clubs Tuesday it is projecting the 2020 salary cap to again increase, this time into the range of $196.8 million to $201.2 million. The increase would be more than $8 million from the current cap of $188.2 million." Dec 10, 2019

    I did see now that they have signed quite a few players to futures contracts since Dec 20. Roster players raises?

    Oh well, as long as they find some loot to at least get 1 starting FA to take some pressure off the draft.
     
  16. cajunyankee

    cajunyankee Well-Known Member

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    Bottom line we will be in salary cap hell until Ben is gone! His cap hit of 33.5m and 31m over the next two years cannot be over come . His last extension was a bad deal for the Steelers.

    Cajun
    <><
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. Voice of Reason

    Voice of Reason Well-Known Member

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    Admittedly, I haven’t followed it that closely, but I haven’t read anything that would make me feel too concerned about his recovery. Curious about your perspective on this.
     
  18. blake duerden

    blake duerden Well-Known Member

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    wow yeh if they signed ben to that contract they surely knew players will have to go.
    question: so any player who restructures their contract, 30% penalty of the current counts towards the current cap year?
     
  19. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    The Steelers has a lot of backloaded contracts on the roster, Heyward, Vince, Nelson, Ben, Pouncey and AV’s cap numbers all increase dramatically going in to 2020.

    Don’t forget also that they had a bit more room this season after Bell’s holdout in 2018, the money they had set aside for him carried forward to 2019.
     
  20. Chainmover1

    Chainmover1 Well-Known Member

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    TY: I got it. And some teams have as much as 90+M to work with. But like I said just one good FA could be huge.
     
  21. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    The 30% rule means that a players salary cannot increase more than 30% year on year following the end of 2020 season.

    Teams often work around the cap by paying the signing bonus at the start of the contract and pushing a lot of the base salary towards the end of the contract when they can then benefit from cap inflation etc. Increases in base salary of 100% and much more are not uncommon year to year.

    All contracts will be limited to 30% until a new CBA is signed. It will make it much harder to free up cap space for 2020 if / when they extend Heyward for example. In a normal year they would probably extend or restructure guys like Nelson and DeCastro to free up cap room. It’s probably not worth doing that with this rule in place.
     
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  22. Jujubean

    Jujubean Well-Known Member

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    His age and the fact that it was a non contact injury. Those two factors don’t usually end well. Of course I hope he still has another couple years in him but the facts are scary considering what we are paying him and what no Ben looks like on the field.
     
  23. Chainmover1

    Chainmover1 Well-Known Member

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    This site has all 32 teams listed

    https://nfltraderumors.co/nfl-cap-space-1/

    It's surprising so many teams have so much room. I wanted to copy paste top 5 and bottom 5 but the site did not allow it .
     
  24. The Glory Days

    The Glory Days Well-Known Member

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    For all we know, there is equal amount we don't know. They always seem to pull something out of their butts that wasn't previously discussed.

    "We're going to exercise the hamburger option to free up 6 million, but we're not salting the fries until next season. That way we can offset the size of the plate and not be over the cap while signing 2 free agents and rfa's while still paying our rookies."

    It's dinner time. I'm hungry.
     
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  25. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    What they normally ‘pull out of their butts’ is restructuring the contracts of high earning players, just like every other team. There really aren’t many other ways to clear cap room other than restructuring or cutting players.

    Its going to be much harder to make savings through restructures this off season though due to the rules around the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. If a new CBA is signed things might change, but I can’t see it happening in time for them to clear enough room for Bud & Javon.
     

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