With T.J. Watt’s new deal freeing up more cash, the Steelers could continue to spend for the 2021 season
The Pittsburgh Steelers have finally gotten a deal with T.J. Watt completed! One of the exciting notes with the deal is that the way the numbers fall Watt’s deal actually gives the Steelers an additional $2 million dollars in salary cap space here in 2021. The salary shift brings the Steelers cap space to $12,398,864 (according to Spotrac). The team usually sits with $5-7 Million in cap space for in season spending, so with so much extra money in the bank what could we expect the Steelers do with it? Below are some of the options they can pursue.
Roll it over to 2022
The easiest thing the Pittsburgh Steelers can do is to do nothing at all. In the NFL, any remaining salary dollars you have at the end of the season can be pushed into the following season and added onto that years salary cap. The salary caps already exploding in 2022, but with a gigantic list of free agents coming off contracts next year the team may opt to have as much money as possible to keep them all around.
Sign an Offensive Lineman
The Steelers offensive line is still far from perfect, and now they have been bit by the injury bug. Right tackle, Zach Banner will be missing at least three weeks and the Steelers may opt to improve the unit and not risk waiting for his healthy return. Names like Mitchell Schwartz keep popping up amongst Steelers fans as a tackle they would want the team to pursue. Having blocked for Patrick Mahomes, Schwartz knows what it’s like having to keep a star quarterback upright. But if the Steelers want to spend more money, the offensive line should be one of the first places they start.
Sign a Nickel Corner
Lets face it, the Steelers didn’t put a nickel corner on the depth chart because they aren’t confident in anyone on the roster to do the job. They’ll rotate guys until they can find someone to do the job, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Steelers brought someone else in sooner rather than later. I’m sure the organization is really missing Mike Hilton these days, and they will be back on the search to find someone with his skill set.
Make another trade
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been making moves all year long to become a Super Bowl contender. They’ve signed void year deals, extended receivers, given out guaranteed money contracts, and they signed defenders older than 30. They are breaking all of their own rules in an attempt to get back to glory before the end of the Ben Roethlisberger era. While making a trade is easier said than done, the best players in the NFL are on rosters, and improving the Steelers at this point (aside from a couple spots) would have to come from other teams. While this is definitely the least likely option nothing about this year has gone by the book.
Wait and see
Perhaps the biggest need for the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers is not as obvious now is it would be later in the season. If the Steelers end up executing a successful plan at slot cornerback and if the young offensive line really starts to come into their own, perhaps the Steelers need to use additional funds somewhere else. For example, the dire situation at inside linebacker in 2020 caused the Steelers to make a trade for Avery Williamson. Additionally, the Steelers did not acquire Minkah Fitzpatrick via trade until Week 3 of the 2019 season. Perhaps the exact need for the Steelers will come more into focus when the right situation presents itself, or after they have played a regular season game or two.
But what do you think? How should the Steelers spend their extra salary cap space? Make sure you vote in the poll and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.