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Steelers restructured Derek Watt's contract which freed up $880K in cap space

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Steelers restructured Cameron Heyward's contract a few weeks ago that freed up $7 million in cap space and last week Ben Roethlisberger helped the team by taking a $5 million pay cut and saving the team over $15 million in cap space. The Steelers were under the cap once Roethlisberger signed his new contract.

The Steelers got some more cap relief today, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Rapoport reports that the Steelers restructured fullback Derek Watt's contract which freed up $880,000 in cap space.

According to Rapoport, teams were informed that the salary cap number for this year will be $182.5 million, which is down from $198.2 million in 2020 due to lost revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Watt's restructure, the Steelers are around $6 million under the cap, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

More contract restructures could be on the way for the Steelers. Steven Nelson could be a candidate. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports suggested a few weeks ago that the Steelers should sign Nelson to a contract extension for more cap relief.

Jones says a new extension would put Nelson into the top-10 highest-paid cornerbacks by average annual salary -- Trae Waynes got a three-year, $42 million deal from the Bengals last year.

Extending Nelson now would lower his 2021 cap hit of $14.42 million, which is the fourth-highest cap hit on the Steelers, and would free up possibly around $8 million in cap space, according to Jones. Nelson is also on the last year of his deal, so the decision to extend Nelson would make sense, especially since he's performed well on the field and is only 28.

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