Updated: Mar 10
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Ben Roethlisberger's future with the team is the big story right now, as he has a league-high $41.25 million cap hit that the Steelers are trying to reduce that will meet both parties needs. The team also might just decide to move on from Roethlisberger and save $19 million in cap space to help re-sign some of their own players. However, they would have $22.25 million in dead cap space with Roethlisberger not on the team whether it's him retiring or the Steelers cutting him.
On Monday, the Steelers created about $7 million in cap space by converting Cameron Heyward's base salary into a signing bonus. According to Spotrac, the Steelers are projected to be about $6 million over the salary cap as of right now.
Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports suggests the Steelers should sign Steven 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.
In the last two years combined (regular season and postseason), Nelson has allowed a 50.3% completion rate and an opponent passer rating of 57.0, according to Tru Media stats. He's collected three interceptions, broken up 13 other passes and has just three coverage penalties.