The #Steelers restructured the contract of pass-rusher TJ Watt to create $6.75M of space, source said. A little operating room before the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 7, 2022
NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport tweeted, “The #Steelers restructured the contract of pass-rusher TJ Watt to create $6.75M of space, source said. A little operating room before the season.”
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year converted $9 million of his 2022 base salary into a signing bonus to create additional cap space.
That adjustment gives the Steelers $9.2 million in cap room before the season starts.
It may not be a big amount compared to the spaces that other teams have, but it helps general manager Omar Khan tinker with roster needs that might come up once the season starts.
Watt signed a four-year, $112 million contract extension before the 2021 season, giving him an annual average value of $28 million.
The restructuring also lowered his base salary for 2022 to $15 million.
He is set to earn base salaries of $20 million, $21.05 million, and $21.05 million over the next three seasons.
Watt won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2021 after tying Michael Strahan‘s single-season sack record of 22.5.
Where Will The Steelers Use The Additional Cap Space?
For now, it serves as a buffer that puts them comfortably below the cap.
However, that space will be handy if they need help at certain positions.
The offensive line might eat up some of that money, given the concerns they’ve had over the past few seasons.
They might need to add more to their depth chart, which only has nine players.
Still, the Steelers hope that they won’t use that wiggle room while remaining competitive throughout the season.
If they don’t use it, that amount will be carried over as surplus in addition to next season’s salary cap.