PITTSBURGH – Retirements are pretty straightforward in the NFL, but how they affect the salary cap isn’t as simple.
The Steelers lost Stephon Tuitt to retirement earlier in the week. It’s not a great situation to be in considering how much the run defense, in particular, fell off after he and Tyson Alualu went down with injuries in 2021.
The fact that Tuitt’s decision comes after the bulk of free agency and after the draft hurts, as well. Sure, there are still plenty of viable options that remain on the free agent market, but the Steelers missed out on a good chance to add primo talent. If Tuitt retired earlier in the year, the Steelers would be in much better shape regarding his position.
But, if there’s one good development from Tuitt’s retirement, it’s the fact that the Steelers saved a little bit of cash in the deal.
Per Spotrac, Tuitt was set to count $13,975,750 against the cap in 2021. That figure included a $9.05 million base salary and a $4,925,750 restructure bonus that was already paid out.
The Steelers will save that entire $9.05 million, but the $4.925 figure will eat into the savings since it still counts on the books. That nets the Steelers around $4,124,450 in extra cap room.
But, it doesn’t stop there. There were void years included with Tuitt’s deal. When a player retires, those void years all accelerate onto the applicable year’s cap hit. The Steelers had $4.755 million to account for in terms of void years, which obviously nukes the $4.124 savings figure.
However, there is good news for the Steelers. Tuitt’s retirement was submitted as a post-June 1 retirement, therefore, the $4.755 million from the void years will go onto 2023’s salary cap.
Therefore, the Steelers will in fact save $4,124,450 in 2022 and there will be $4.755 million in dead cap on the 2023 books.
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