Steelers $5 million under salary cap before tagging Le'Veon Bell
With the NFL salary cap figures becoming public, the Steelers are little more than $5 million under the figure as they prepare to apply the franchise tag Tuesday afternoon to running back Le'Veon Bell.
The salary cap for the 2018 season is $177.2 million, which is less than the projections of $178-179 million that some salary-tracking publications anticipated.
According to overthecap.com, the Steelers are $5.119 million under the salary cap. Spotrac.com has that figure at $5.394 million.
Either way, the Steelers will need to clear space to make significan room for Bell's $14.54 million franchise tag and any money needed for free agency, which begins March 14.
Those cap figures for the Steelers include a $4 million carryover in unused cap space from the 2017 season. General manager Kevin Colbert, however, historically stays within $3 million of the salary-cap figure each season because of injuries that require the Steelers to add players to the roster.
The Steelers don't need to account for Bell's franchise-tag number until the start of the new league year on March 14. That gives them eight days to restructure contracts or release high-cost veterans. One candidate is safety Mike Mitchell, whose release would bring a $5 million salary-cap savings.
The Steelers already have restructured the contracts of guard David DeCastro and defensive end Stephon Tuitt to crease room under the cap.