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Steelers

Steelers $5 million under salary cap before tagging Le'Veon Bell

Joe Rutter
| Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 12:27 p.m.
Steelers running back LeVeon Bell turns the corner on the Ravens' Brandon Carr for a fourth-quarter touchdown Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back LeVeon Bell turns the corner on the Ravens' Brandon Carr for a fourth-quarter touchdown Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 at Heinz Field.
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell smiles at fans before a game against the Lions Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, at Ford Field in Detroit.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell smiles at fans before a game against the Lions Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, at Ford Field in Detroit.

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.

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