3 contracts holding the Steelers back right now

Pittsburgh can free up salary cap space, but something must be done about these three cap numbers in 2024.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Larry Ogunjobi: 3 years, $28.75 million

After his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022, Larry Ogunjobi tested the free-agent waters. When the interior defensive line depth quickly dried up during the 2023 free agency period, the Steelers handed Ogunjobi a rich new deal -- almost out of desperation to cover their bases at defensive tackle.

This three-year, $28.75 million contract was much steeper than I would have been comfortable with the team paying him. What's worse is that the most manageable cap number is already behind us. Ogunjobi's cap hit was just over $4.93 million during the 2023 season. Now that figure jumps up to nearly $13.3 million in 2024.

For what Pittsburgh has gotten out of Ogunjobi in his first two seasons, this is an unreasonable number. The veteran defensive tackle hasn't been nearly as disruptive as advertised and he routinely struggles to anchor against the run. So what can the Steelers do about it?

There are plenty of folks who are advocating for Pittsburgh to cut him this offseason. This isn't completely out of the question, but a restructure could also be on the table. Sadly, cutting Ogunjobi this offseason would result in a substantial $7 million in dead money. Regardless of what they decide to do, there's no question that Larry Ogunjobi's contract is detrimental to the team.