Each season over the better part of the past five or so years, the NFL's salary cap has gone up roughly $10 million.
Yet each year, the Steelers find themselves right up against the salary cap, having precious little wiggle room. This year is no different. In fact, as the Steelers are readying to go to training camp in less than three weeks, they have less salary cap space than normal.
Current NFLPA figures have the Steelers with just $985,000 in cap room, a figure at which they have hovered for more than a month now after signing the last of their draft picks.
Forget about signing anyone to contract extensions, the Steelers need to clear some cap space just to have the $3 million or so available that general manager Kevin Colbert likes to have to get through a season.
How did the Steelers get to this point? Let's take a look at that and how they can create that needed cap space moving forward.
The Steelers entered the 2019 offseason with approximately $28 million in cap space. Sounds like a lot, right? For the Steelers, it most certainly was.
But in the grand scheme of things, it still placed them in the bottom third of the league.
Then, Antonio Brownhappened. Brown's contract had him set to make $12.65 million in salary in 2019 with a cap hit of $21.2 million thanks to the team renegotiating the deal in 2018 to create cap space.
The team only renegotiated the deal because it felt Brown would be part of the team in 2019. So much for that.
Much of the team's current cap situation stems from that one move.