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Free agency starts on March 17 and the league has still not announced what the cap figure will be for the 2021 season. A few weeks ago it was announced that the cap floor will be $180 million, $5 up from what the previous cap floor was.
However, it's expected the cap won't be much higher than the $180 million cap floor, which means there will be a lot of cap casualties around the league. The cap in 2020 was $198.2 million and it was expected to rise significantly in 2021, but no one expected a pandemic that would cut the league's revenue drastically. Teams prepare years in advance when it comes to working the salary cap.
That's why on 93.7 The Fan today, longtime NFL writer and analyst John Clayton said "It will be a bloodbath around the league," in regards to cuts.
Clayton thinks Joe Haden and Vince Williams are on the Steelers chopping block and both could be gone.
The Steelers would save $7 million in cap space by cutting Haden and would save $4 million by parting ways with Williams, according to Overthecap.com. If the Steelers were to cut both Haden and Williams, they would have $8,575,000 in dead money with Haden and $3,031,668 in dead money with Williams.
It would be tough to lose two veterans, who are leaders on the field and in the locker room, but the Steelers might have to make some tough business decisions this offseason to re-sign some of their own or sign a player of need in free agency. If the Steelers were to cut Haden to save $7 million, I'd expect for them to go all-in to re-sign Cam Sutton and put him outside to replace Haden at cornerback.
Robert Spillane would be the next man up if the Steelers were to move on from Williams. Spillane did an admirable job in replacing Devin Bush last season after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 6 against the Browns.