Steelers must free up more money for free agency spending immediately

Steelers, Myles Jack
Steelers, Myles Jack / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The 2023 free agency period is offically upon us. March 13th marked the start of the legal tampering period where teams can negotiate contracts with free agents from around the league. Last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers were very active in free agency, but we may not be able to say the same this time around.

As of Monday morning, the Steelers have just $10.4 million in salary cap space, according to Over the Cap. This comes after getting out of the cap hole last week by cutting veteran CB William Jackson III. Unfortunately, this money is going to go very fast.

Players like Cameron Sutton, Larry Ogunjobi, and Terrell Edmunds (among many others) are now free to negotiate with other teams, and Pittsburgh may not have a lot of room to intervene. It's imperative that the Steelers free up more salary cap space immediately.

Why Steelers must have more cap space for free agency

Obviously, re-signing Cameron Sutton has been a top priority since day one. However, that may not be possible -- especially with the lack of cap room to work with. Some projections have Sutton going for upwards of $11 million per season in new annual earnings. While the Steelers could potentially backload his contract, this will leave them with very little money to make a splash in free agency this year.

There are dozens of quality options on the market at several major positions of need, but the Steelers aren't about to get into a bidding war with anyone. While making decisions to cut veteran players isn't easy, Pittsburgh needs to take a proactive approach (something they should have done in the weeks leading up to this point).

Linebacker Myles Jack, for example, is set to have an absurd cap number of $11.25 million for the 2023 season, and the Steelers could save a whopping $8 million by releasing him now. With the money saved, Pittsburgh could throw it back into a linebacker who is coming off a much better season.

In addition, players like Mitch Trubisky, Ahkello Witherspoon, Montravius Adams, and Gunner Olszewski should each be on the chopping block, as the team looks to improve its roster for the upcoming season.

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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting notably better results. The Pittsburgh Steelers need to cut ties with non-difference-makers from last year and use the money toward bolstering the talent on their roster in free agency. They better get moving before a wave of talent signs elsewhere and the market starts to dry up.