PITTSBURGH – The Steelers are heading into the final month before training camp like the rest of the NFL, but there’s one more thing they need to take care of, per ESPN‘s Field Yates:
“The Steelers knocked off one major item from the to-do list when they extended safety Minkah Fitzpatrick on a record-setting deal for his position last week. Now, Johnson is put further into focus. He is just the latest in a string of outstanding wideouts drafted by the team not in the first round and deserves a lucrative deal. He is only 25 and has shown legitimate improvement in each of his first three seasons. The wide receiver market has exploded this offseason, so a deal with surely be a pricey one.”
The Steelers can get a deal done with Johnson before training camp
And it’s because they have plenty of money to get it done.
Yes, Fitzpatrick just received a huge deal. But, if you remember, the extension actually allowed the Steelers to create cap space. Around $2.4 million in extra cap room, actually.
The Steelers are fourth in the NFL with a tick over $23.1 million in cap space, but Larry Ogunjobi’s deal has to yet to be factored. The draft is class is signed and the practice squad will cost around $3.1-$4.048 million, however. Throw in the $3-$5 million for potential injury signings, Ogunjobi’s $8 million (even though the cap hit will be less) and the Steelers have around $6 million in cap space, at minimum, per Over The Cap. It’s very likely they’ll have more than that, as well.
That may not seem like enough, but as we saw with Fitzpatrick’s deal, the Steelers can structure the contract where the cap hit is low in 2022 – or to where it creates cap room a la Fitzpatrick’s deal.
The cards are on the table to get a deal done. It’s just a matter of both sides coming to an agreement, at some point.
You can check out Yates’ full column, here.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports