Update on Steelers salary cap situation in 2022 after DE Stephon Tuitt’s retirement – Steelers Depot

Update on Steelers salary cap situation in 2022 after DE Stephon Tuitt's retirement - Steelers Depot
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Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have defensive end Stephon Tuitt as announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the NFL. However, the fact that this announcement was made on June 1 probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, and that’s because that date could have been a line in the sand that both sides had when making a decision for the season 2022. . Now that Tuitt is retiring, let’s take a look at how the Steelers’ salary cap should impact the situation.

For starters, Tuitt’s retirement likely won’t be dealt with until June 1. This is a big deal when it comes to accelerating dead money. Assuming Tuitt’s retirement is processed after June 1, the Steelers will initially save $9,048,560 in the 2022 cap space before the top 51 move. With Tuitt retiring after June 1, the Steelers would also have a dead money charge of $4.755 million in 2023. This amount is deferred because the date is after June 1.

Now, even though I haven’t seen Tuitt’s actual contract, I guess the Steelers could go for some of that previous signing bonus money if they really wanted to. I kinda doubt that will happen, though. If that happens, we won’t know such a thing is happening for quite a while. In fact, the outcome of a Steelers grievance against Tuitt, if there was one, likely wouldn’t be resolved for several months. In short, if the Steelers won such a grievance, the refund likely wouldn’t happen until 2023. We’ll wait and see.

So, with Tuitt retiring and assuming he is dealt with after June 1, where would that put the Steelers from a salary cap perspective?

Heading into Wednesday, the NFLPA had the Steelers $12,296,961 under the cap. Assuming Tuitt is dealt after June 1, the Steelers should then be $21,346,961 under the cap and that includes their 2022 dead money amount swelling to $30,863,174, of which Tuitt accounts for $4,925,750.

Now, a Tuitt retirement after June 1 could have a significant ripple effect. In short, Tuitt’s retirement could prevent the Steelers from restructuring outside linebacker TJ Watt’s contract later this summer and especially if the team signs safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a contract extension that drops his 2022 salary cap by a few million. . Such a scenario is entirely possible as we sit here right now. We’ll see what ultimately happens with wide receiver Diontae Johnson and his contract. Personally, I doubt he gets an extension, but we’ll see. An overtime for kicker Chris Boswell could also happen. If so, it won’t really tax the Steelers 2022 cap situation.

While this is just educated speculation on my part, the Steelers should have around $5-6 million in salary cap space that they can use to bolster their 2022 roster by the time week 1 of the regular season. Obviously, that number may increase if they’re willing to restructure Watt’s contract later this summer. While I think we could see the Steelers bolster their roster a bit more beyond OTAs, I don’t expect them to make any groundbreaking signings. Maybe a low-budget defensive lineman, outside linebacker, or tackle? Or maybe one of each. $6 million in cap space can go a long way depending on how the Steelers normally do business after June 1.

The Steelers still have two draft picks to sign in quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver Calvin Austin III, but my numbers and projections already factor in those deals. You can see the full breakdown of the Steelers’ current and future salary cap outlook for 2022 below.

The Steelers entered Wednesday with an active roster of 89 players. Once Tuitt is treated as retired, he will be downed by another player. In short, the team will be signing a few more players very soon and it’s a safe bet that both will be defensive players.

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