As is seemingly par for their course as of late, the Pittsburgh Steelers headed into the offseason well over the $123 million 2013 salary cap. And, as is usual for the Steelers in this situation, they used a combination of cuts and contract restructures to get under the salary cap.
Take into account the Steelers' finances headed into Tuesday's start of free agency, which gave them cap room to the tune of $14 million. Then, factor in the restricted free-agent tender given to running back Isaac Redman (which wasn't included in that first figure, though the rest of their tenders were) as well as the three-year deal handed to guard Ramon Foster that carries with it a $1.4 million cap hit this year, and that puts the Steelers at $11.3 million under the cap.
Keep in mind that that number is poised to go down, almost immediately. The Steelers will be bringing back wide receiver Plaxico Burress in the coming days, for a veteran minimum salary and they just re-signed linebacker Larry Foote to a multi-year deal. Larry Foote's new deal and the re-signing of fullback David Johnson and that appears to put the Steelers at around $4.4 million under the salary cap.
Signing quarterback Bruce Gradkowski lowers that number somewhat and the release of Willie Colon doesn't technically take effect until June 2, when it will save the team $5.5 million so they cannot yet operate as though they have that money just yet. With the signing of free agent tight end Matt Spaeth, the Steelers should have just about $3 million in cap space right now.
Here's a breakdown of how the Steelers got to this point.