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  1. #13

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide



    The main problem is that the Steelers have 11 players who are taking up roughly 85-87% of their total cap (prior to any restructures). That leaves $13-15% to be spread between the other 40 players under their "rule of 51". By my calculations, the Steelers top 11 players (referenced below) were making $106 million prior to these recent restructures.

    Roethlisberger (age 31 in 2013) $19.6 million in 2013- $8.4 in dead money remaining
    Harrison (age 35 in 2013) $10 million in 2013 - $5 million in dead money
    Ryan Clark (34) $4.8 million- $1.3 in dead money
    Antonio Brown (27)- $3.1 million-approx. $13.2 in future dead money- This was just restructured- I will get to this momentarily
    Lamarr Woodley (turns 29 in Nov)- $13.2 million in 2013- approx. $14.2 in future dead money
    Lawrence Timmons (27)- $5.9 million in 2013- $18.2 in future dead money- just restructured- will elaborate below
    Troy Polamalu (32)- $10.1 million in 2013- $5.3 in future dead money
    Willie Colon (30)- $7.6 million in 2013- $6.4 in future dead money
    Heath Miller (turns 31 in Oct)- $8 million in 2013- $4.6 in future dead money
    Ike Taylor (33)- $9.5 million in 2013- $6.4 million in dead money
    Bret Keisel (35)- $4.5 million in 2013- $1.8 in dead money

    So, even after the restructures to Timmons and Brown, the Steelers have $96.3 million tied up in these 11 players. That's 80% of the projected cap. That leaves them roughly $24 million to spread over the other 40 players.

    The restructures to Timmons/Brown saved roughly $9 million between those two players towards 2013, which is significant, and they are still in awful shape.

    If you take it a step further, Pouncey and DeCastro are making $4.3 combined next year, so now they have $100.6 tied up in 13 players.

    Redman and Dwyer are both RFAs. You have to imagine that both players, given their late round/undrafted status, will have to be offered a 2nd round RFA tender, because a Round-of-draft tender would make them goners to another team. Who wouldn't give up their 6th rounder to get Jonathan Dwyer? Both players will get RFA tenders around $2 million. Now their cap is at $104.6 through just 15 players. That leaves 36 players that they now have to pay with roughly $16 million.

    Suisham is on the hook for $1.7 million and Emmanuel Sanders is a RFA as well. Let's assume with him being a 3rd rounder that they offer a ROD RFA tender for $1.3 million. Sanders is a solid player worth keeping, but after 2013, where will the salary cap room to do so be found? There's another $3 million between those two. Now they have $107.6 tied up in 17 players. That leaves $13 million to be spread between 34 players ($382k per player) Obviously, that's not possible, as that puts you well below the league minimum.

    Recent draft picks Cam Heyward, Jason Worilds, Mike Adams, and Ziggy Hood combine to make $5.6 million between them. All four of these players are good values at their respective salaries. Yet, the Steelers might now struggle to find room to offer them anywhere near market value as they approach free agency, much like they are unable to with Mike Wallace. If you add the $5.6 million to the picture, the Steelers now have $113.2 tied up in those 21 players. That leaves roughly $7.5 million to be spread over the other 30 players who count under the "rule of 51". That's $250k per player, or roughly half of what the lowest player on your rule of 51 roster counts against your cap. We haven't even factored in other players currently on the roster who are making above $500k/year or any incoming rookies.




  2. #14
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    The Steelers Oline hasn't been able to protect Ben for the last five years. Having Mike Adams and Gillbert at OT should scare the hell out of any Steeler fan, the Oline should be even worse this year, especially if they cut Willie Colon.




  3. #15
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Silver View Post
    Read their message boards, the fans aren't happy about the players, their pay, and their age at a lot of places. Sorry I am in the boat that the Steelers are like Dracula, they keep coming back. But their future planning has been a puzzle to me. I feel like they think they are the team that beat us all those years ago and that formula will keep working. That their opponents like us are going to stand pat.

    How long have they ignored their line? Too long. Big Ben almost did get killed for real this year. If I am them, I'd start a new strategy, blow up the team. Ben's heroics are going to become more of a memory.

    If I was them holding on for one more run, I'd have not gone with Haley, worked on a more power run game, get a big back like Stephen Jackson, and revert to what we used to be, but this incarnation of the Steelers looks like it is heading to the shitter.
    They drafted a Tackle and a Guard with their first 2 picks last year. They drafted Pouncy in the 1st round 2 years earlier. They haven't ignored their line. That's 3 very high picks in the past couple of years. They haven't gotten great production out of it but that's different than ignoring it.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  4. #16
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    I warned the OP much earlier in the offseason process that his reports of the death of the Steelers were greatly exaggerated, and I believe this pronouncement is similarly premature. Keep on proclaiming them dead while they methodically solve their problems as the Ravens founder around with their best player not under contract.

    The Steelers HAVE a "young core" in place to build around.
    Restructuring some of those contracts definitely pushes off the pain until future years, but they are betting on the cap increasing in future years as much as the Ravens did when they signed the Ngata, Webb, and Rice deals, all of which double or even triple in cap hits beginning in 2014. The anticipated Flacco contract will be much the same--huge cap hits in future years. Go look up the cap numbers for the restructured Woodley and Brown contracts. Those contracts were done very carefully with small bonus numbers in future years SPECIFICALLY to open up the possibility of restructures without causing too much harm. Woodley's cap hits in future years are right around the 13m mark. What's Suggs' cap number over the next 2 years? Right around 13m. No difference between the Steelers and Ravens there.

    The reality of the matter is simple: the Steelers have a franchise QB under contract for several years, with an extremely young, talented, and cheap OL to protect him. They have Antonio Brown and numerous young pieces on defense (Woodley, Timmons, Heyward all under 30) all under their control long-term with a few key older players who are still playing at a very high level (Ike Taylor one of the best CBs in football, Ryan Clark a top 10 FS, and Brett Keisel a top 10 5-tech DE).

    They draft well and give their draft picks time to develop. They WILL be a good team in 2013 if they avoid injuries, it's as simple as that. The Ravens were only 2 wins better than them in the regular season last year and got beaten at home by their 3rd string QB. People roundly mocked LeBeau for saying it could have been Pittsburgh instead of Baltimore last year, but he wasn't wrong. They got hit by the injury bug about as hard as we did (or maybe even a little harder), but didn't get as many breaks going their way. It's going to be a dogfight for the division again next year.
    We watching the same time over the past couple of years?
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  5. #17

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Oh I get they drafted very lately to fix their O-line, but when they were world beaters, it was an accepted concept of Steeler Nation that Ben will be the McNair of today, take a beating and we'll get by. They went and drafted defense and wide receiver and never really looked to free agency.

    If their picks aren't panning out right now, its a the lateness of which it was addressed. I harped on Ozzie back in the Billick days for ignoring our O-Line too long and drafting heavy on defense, he switched that up as the games dynamics changed.




  6. #18

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by leachisabeast View Post
    The 2012 NFL draft is ALREADY looking like an absolute failure for the Steelers. I remember all the talk about how great the Steelers drafted and got a top ten talent at guard (he was far from a top ten talent, and IMO wasn't as good as Kevin Zeitler), how they got a potential all pro left tackle in Mike Adams, and the future Casey Hampton in the 4th round, and a Darren Sproles in the 5th round. Two of those players are now off the team already, DeCastro spent most of the year on IR, and when he came back he didn't look good at all, and Mike Adams got owned like a bitch lining up against Paul Kruger, as he did by most pass rushers. Adams did well as a run blocker though, maybe it would be wise to move him inside.
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.




  7. #19

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.
    they had all that last year and were 8-8... and now losing more key pieces. I dont think theyll go 8-8 but im not seeing reason to believe theyll be exceptionally better than that either. Frankly a lot of us felt they would struggle this year, they did, I see the same thing this year. Are they capable of being a contender? sure, but i wouldnt say theyre guaranteed that like years past.
    -JAB




  8. #20
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Silver View Post
    I am in the boat that the Steelers are like Dracula, they keep coming back.
    Until they get too old & pooped to chase down their prey & repair to the emergency blood bank in the backyard bunker for a quick pickmeup--only to discover someone has switched out the stash for bottles of cherry soda. (Or worse--Iron City with food coloring...)

    Has that day come? Bwahahahaha! As they say in the UK, Stay chooned!




  9. #21

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeDaniel View Post
    The main problem is that the Steelers have 11 players who are taking up roughly 85-87% of their total cap (prior to any restructures). That leaves $13-15% to be spread between the other 40 players under their "rule of 51". By my calculations, the Steelers top 11 players (referenced below) were making $106 million prior to these recent restructures.
    Your research looks bulletproof and I think you're making a good case for your argument. It definitely sounds troublesome from a marginal value standpoint in a vacuum, but the only question I would raise is are those numbers really dissimilar from other teams? Are we to assume that the Ravens have a more even investment spread? Just anecdotally because I'm too lazy to run the numbers myself, I would doubt that's true.

    Even if the Ravens have a little more palatable number, say 10 players taking up 60% of the cap with 40% allocated to the remaining 40, how much difference does that really make? Draft picks are cheap, and if you depend on a core of expensive, elite players supported by a big pool of young first-contract players, isn't that just the model of franchise success, no matter how skewed the numbers might be?

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRAVEN View Post
    We watching the same time over the past couple of years?
    Note carefully what I said--young and talented OL, not necessarily productive at this point in their careers. The Steelers' OL is projected next year to look like this:

    LT-Gilbert LG-Beachum C-Pouncey RG-DeCastro RT-Adams

    Every starter on that line is 24 or younger and all but 1 is a first or second round pick. That's definitely young and talented, and the Steelers were never able to field that line last year because their OL was ravaged by injuries. The injury situation will regress to the mean next year and be better by default, so I strongly expect their OL to be MUCH improved.

    As for the young talent on their roster to build around... not much else I can say apart from what I already said. Antonio Brown is a very good receiver, Woodley is one of the league's best pass rushers when healthy, and Timmons is perhaps the best young ILB in the AFC. I've already highlighted how young their OL is, and they have numerous defensive draft picks (Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, Curtis Brown, Cortez Allen) who have played well in limited duty.

    I just don't think the Steelers are in the kind of trouble teams like Jacksonville, Oakland, etc. are. Those are teams without a franchise QB and with virtually no talent on the roster. The Steelers are way above that territory.




  10. #22
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    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    They definitely missed on Ta'amu and Rainey, and Adams and DeCastro were up and down in their rookie years, but you give a draft class 3 years to pan out. The two OL are both talented and showed flashes in their rookie years. It's a steep learning curve for most linemen in the NFL, so there's no reason to think they won't improve next year.

    I'm not saying the Steelers are going to be Super Bowl contenders next year, but they have talent on the roster, a good coaching staff, and a good FO. They are just NOT going to be a 4-12 team next year, keep dreaming if you think that's the case. They're going to be right there with the Ravens even if they can't keep up all year long.
    4-12 is a complete exaggeration. But we said the same things last year, and as jab pointed out, they finished just how a lot of us expected them to finish. Bad Oline, Ben can't stay healthy, old defense that is somehow always number 1 on the stats sheet but the games don't always really reflect that. I say 9-7.




  11. #23

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Antonio Brown is not a #1 WR. Sanders is not a #2 WR. Wallace is gone. They have no deep threat. Which might work with Haley's new dink and dunk offense installed. But their offense is a lot less scary than it used to be.

    Their best pass-catcher last year was TE Miller and he tore up his knee really bad late last season - he will have a long recovery and at best start the season on PUP. I think he tore both his ACL and MCL. He could easily miss half the season or maybe even all of it if his recovery has hiccups.

    All of their RBs suck.

    If either the defense falls off (age) or Big Ben has a rough year (or another injury), this team is cooked.

    Their offense is worse off than their defense IMO - they have a lack of talent at WR and RB and now TE, which means it is all on the QB.

    Plus all of the negative locker room chatter which may or may not manifest itself next season.

    I won't count them out, but their situation isn't looking pretty.




  12. #24

    Re: Steeler restructures---committing cap suicide

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
    Even if the Ravens have a little more palatable number, say 10 players taking up 60% of the cap with 40% allocated to the remaining 40, how much difference does that really make? Draft picks are cheap, and if you depend on a core of expensive, elite players supported by a big pool of young first-contract players, isn't that just the model of franchise success, no matter how skewed the numbers might be?
    I believe we had a similar thread on this where it was roughly 60-65% on the top 10, but the difference is i believe is the top 10 players averaged closer to 2 years younger (28 to 29.5 roughly) than the steelers and arguably get a lot more production from. So that age difference plus the cap being spread out more evenly does effect the overall team greatly. It allows us to retain and sign some mid level talent vs the steelers usually mostly bringing in low level, which we arent shy from ourselves.
    -JAB




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