The Pittsburgh Steelers salary cap was an issue of concern during the 2021 offseason. Now, with Week 1 less than a month away, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has given himself a nice allowance to work with. On Monday, the Steelers converted $7.925 million of defensive end Stephon Tuitt’s signing into a signing bonus, thus creating $6.34 million in cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
The move will give the Steelers about $15-16 million in cap space, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. The added cap space is significant, as Pittsburgh currently has the means to address any unforeseen injuries that may play during the season. The Steelers could also use the space to address any parts of their roster that needs improvement.
A second-round pick in the 2014 draft, the 28-year-old Tuitt is coming off the best season of his career. In 15 games last season, the former Notre Dame standout tallied 11 sacks (4.5 more than his previous season high), 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and a pair of forced fumbles. Tuitt’s play helped the Steelers’ defense finish third in the league in scoring. Pittsburgh also paced the NFL in sacks for a fourth consecutive year.
Pittsburgh’s front office has had an impressive summer. In June, the team signed five-time Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner to a one-year, $3 million deal after the abrupt release of six-time Pro Bowler David DeCastro. Last month, the Steelers signed three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Melvin Ingram to a one-year, $4 million deal. Last week, the Steelers traded a sixth-round pick to the Jaguars to acquire Joe Schobert, one of the league’s more versatile inside linebackers. The Steelers got Schobert at a bargain, as the Jaguars will reportedly pay over half of Schobert’s guaranteed salary for the 2021 season.
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Another offseason acquisition that is currently paying dividends is the team’s January signing of quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who penned a one-year, $850,000 deal after being released by Washington. Haskins is currently in the running to win the job as the Steelers’ No. 2 quarterback after directing Pittsburgh’s offense on four consecutive scoring drives in last Thursday night’s preseason win in Philadelphia.
While they’ve had a solid offseason, the Steelers’ front office still has work to do. All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt is currently not taking part in team drills as he is hoping to receive a new contract before Week 1. Three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden is seeking a contract extension with the hope of finishing his career in Pittsburgh. Both players are facing deadlines as it relates to their contracts, as the Steelers traditionally do not negotiate contracts once the regular season has begun.