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Insider Only Cap Analysis: Indepth look at the Steelers cap situation for the top-25 paid players on the roster

STEELERS CAP SITUATION

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered this off-season $28.7 million over the salary cap, according to a league official. That number is starting to be trimmed down after Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley officially restructured his contract over the weekend, a league source confirmed.
Woodley last year signed a 6 year, $61.5 million deal. Woodley’s cap hit has gone down from $11.35 million to $4.94 million. The team reduced Woodley’s base salary to $700,000 and he carries a $4.240 million cap hit in bonus money.
The NFL system gives teams the luxury of getting under the cap through restructuring but as one former NFL executive told me a few weeks ago, having to keep doing it to several players year after year like the Steelers will be doing again, you will eventually end up like the San Francisco 49ers did.
Woodley is an example of that. In 2013, he’s due a base salary of $9 million and carries a $13.240 million cap hit, followed by cap hits of $12.240 million in 2014 and 2015, and a $10.640 million cap hit in 2016, the final year of his deal. Pittsburgh will be right back in the same situation asking him to restructure like they do with Ben Roethlisberger pretty much every year.
Here are the Steelers salary cap numbers we obtained from a league official for the top-25 paid players on the roster who have cap hits over $1 million: Several are restructure candidates and others will be released as the team has a number of overpaid aging veterans and backups.
*Signing bonus cap hits associated to contracts are in () for each player*

TOP-25

QB Ben RoethlisbergerCap hit: $11.670 million
– Roethlisberger is due to make a base salary of $6.350 million and has a ($5.32 million signing bonus cap hit). Roethlisberger restructured his contract last summer and the contract was restructured also for future seasons beyond the 2011 season, which has dropped his base salary for the 2012 season from originally $11.6 million to $6.35 million
LB James HarrisonCap Hit: $9.431 million
– Harrison is due to make a base salary of $5.315 million and has a ($4.116 million signing bonus cap hit).
LB Lawrence TimmonsCap Hit: $9.125 million
– Timmons is due a base salary of $2.625 million, ($2 million signing bonus cap hit) and is due $4.5 million in a roster bonus that can easily be restructured. Overall he is due $7.125 million in 2012.
CB Ike TaylorCap Hit: $8.813 million
– Taylor is among the Steelers highest earners in 2012, scheduled to receive a base salary of $6.250 million and has a ($2.563 million Signing Bonus Cap Hit).
NT Casey HamptonCap Hit: $8.056 million
– Hamton is due a base salary of $4.89 million, ($2.167 million signing bonus cap Hit) and a $1 million workout bonus. The key number for Hampton is that he’s due $5.89 million in 2012. That’s the number the Steelers will have to work off of to restructure if Hampton sticks around.
TE Heath MillerCap Hit: $6,603,832 million
– Miller’s cap hit jumps up nearly $3 million in 2012. Miller is due a base salary of $3,807,332 million and has a ($2,796,500 signing bonus cap hit).
OT Willie Colon Cap Hit: $6.575 million
– Colon is due a base salary of $5.375 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $1.2 million)
SS Troy PolamaluCap Hit: $6.250 million
– Polamalu is due a base salary of $6.250 million and no signing bonus is associated to Polamalu’s cap hit this season… here’s why:
Omar Khan had his eye on the Steelers cap issues in 2012 when working out Troy Polamalu’s 4 year, $36.5 million contract last September. Polamalu received a $10.550 million signing bonus and instead of pro-rating the signing bonus ($2.638 million) over the duration of the contract (4 years), the contract was structured where the Steelers took the entire $10.550 million cap hit of the signing bonus in year 1 (2011), which is not the norm for most contracts. Polamalu last season carried a $14 million cap hit, receiving $3.45 million in base salary and his $10.550 million signing bonus.

LB LaMarr WoodleyCap Hit: $4.94 million
– Woodley is due a base salary of $700,000 and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $4.240 million)
WR Hines Ward Cap Hit: $4.610 million
– Ward is due a base salary of $4 million and carries a (signing bonus cap hit of $610,000)
DE Brett Keisel – Cap Hit: $4.5 million
– Keisel is due a base salary of $2.825 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $1.675 million).
LG Chris Kemoeatu Cap Hit: $4.354 million
– Kemoeatu is due a base salary of $3.577 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $777,000)
FS Ryan Clark Cap Hit: $4.250 million
– Clark is due a base salary of $3 million and has a signing bonus cap hit of $1.250 million
– LB James FarriorCap Hit: $3.825 million
– Farrior is due a base salary of $2.825 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $1 million)
LB Larry FooteCap Hit: $3.6 million
– Foote is due a base salary of $3 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $600,000)
C Maurkice PounceyCap Hit: $2.96 million
– Pouncey is due a base salary of $666,000 and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $1.070 million)
CB Bryant McFaddenCap Hit: $2,667,667 million
– McFadden is due a base salary of $2.5 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $166,667)
DE Aaron SmithCap Hit: $2.9 million
OT Jonathan ScottCap Hit: $2.7 million
RB Rashard Mendenhall Cap Hit: $2.016 million
– Mendenhall is due a base salary of $612,500 and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $1,978,500 million)
K Shaun Suisham Cap Hit: $1,707,500 million
– Suisham is due a base salary of $1.370 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $337,500)
DE Evander HoodCap Hit: $1.629 million
– Hood is due a base salary of $600,000 and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $1.029 million)
S Will Allen Cap Hit: $1.590 million
– Allen is due a base salary of $1.265 million and has a signing bonus cap hit of $325,000
WR Arnaz BattleCap Hit: $1,362,500
– Battle is due a base salary of $1,037 million and has a (signing bonus cap hit of $325,000)

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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