5 Steelers players who hurt the salary cap if they are released in 2020

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Due to signing bonuses and guarantees on contracts with multiple seasons still remaining, some players would actually create more of a cap issue if they were released

With the Pittsburgh Steelers up against the salary cap for the 2020 season, much discussion has been made about which players may become cap casualties this off-season. While there are several players who can save the Steelers a significant amount of space under the salary cap, there are several players on the team which would cost more against the cap than to keep them for the season.

Here is a list of the five Steelers who would be more beneficial to stay on the roster than it would be to release them for the 2020 season. Granted, most of these players the Steelers would not consider moving on from anytime soon based on their on-field production. But even though their departure would be highly unlikely even without their salary cap situation, it never hurts to know the numbers. All figures listed are courtesy of overthecap.com and reflect if the player was a pre-June 1 cut.

Devin Bush


Only a fool would suggest a team who traded up in the first round of the draft to select a player should release them after just one season. Devin Bush is not going anywhere with the Steelers for a long time. Not only would it cost just over $11 million in 2020, it would cost over $6 million in 2021. In fact, there would be no cap savings for cutting Bush in the next three seasons. It’s a good thing the Steelers wouldn’t even consider the notion of moving on from Bush.

Stephon Tuitt


With the second largest salary cap number for 2020 only behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, some fans have asked how much the Steelers would save if they moved on from Tuitt. With injuries becoming a factor, many wonder if to it is worth his high salary. At least for the 2020 season, releasing Tuitt would actually hurt his cap number. If the Steelers considered moving on from Tuitt in 2021, they would at least save a little bit on the cap (about $3 million) but would still be taking a huge dead money hit. It would not be until the 2022 season where to it would actually save a larger amount of money ($9 million) then it would be as a dead money hit if Tuitt were to stay ($6 million).

Part of the reason Tuitt’s contract is outlined in this way is because of the restructure that was done in 2019. In order to save some money for last year’s salary cap, most of his 2019 base contract was converted to a bonus so it was spread out over the next three seasons. And with special rules governing the final year of a CBA where only 30% of a player’s salary can be extended out each year beyond the current season, restructuring Tuitt’s contract again is not realistic.

Minkah Fitzpatrick


Given the various factors of the Steelers giving up a first-round pick for Fitzpatrick, his recent All-Pro status, and the fact he is on his rookie deal which costs the Steelers minimally towards the salary cap, Fitzpatrick may be the most stable player to remain on the Steelers the next two seasons. Not only is he an extreme value as a rookie, there is no salary cap savings to be had through the remainder of his rookie deal.

Terrell Edmunds


Edmunds is in a very similar situation as Fitzpatrick as they were taken in the first round of the same draft. The biggest difference with the Steelers is they are still have Edmunds’ initial signing bonus going towards the salary cap for the remainder of his contract where Fitzpatrick’s is only on the books of the Miami Dolphins. While some fans have grown frustrated with Edmunds play, the notion of cutting him would actually cost the Steelers more than $2 million against this year’s salary cap. As a general rule, cutting a player on their rookie deal is not a wise financial move unless the player is simply never going to see the field. But for those screaming for Edmunds to no longer be on the Steelers, 2021 would give the Steelers just over $1 million in cap relief if he were to be released then. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Chris Boswell


Of all the players listed who would cost the Steelers more against the salary cap if they were released, Boswell is by far the lowest amount. With only $25k added to the salary cap, the Steelers could move on from Boswell realistically. But this is 2020 and not 2019. After Boswell’s 2018 performance, his future with the Steelers was in question. But in a fantastic bounce back year, there’s no reason to think Boswell won’t be the Steelers first option moving forward.

So these are the only five players where it would not benefit the Steelers salary cap by releasing them prior to June 1. While there are plenty of other players who would carry a large dead-money value which would detract to the team for moving on, actually costing the Steelers cap space by their departure means these five players won’t be going anywhere. Of course, this is strictly from a numbers perspective. When factoring on-the-field performance, it would be foolish for the Steelers to cut ties with any of these five players.

Ben Roethlisberger deserves to try to go out on his own terms

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets

With two years remaining on his contract, Rothlisberger has every right to finish his NFL career his way as long as he keeps a realistic view of the situation.

As I’ve shared previously, Ben Roethlisbergeris the reason I am the Steelers’ fan that I have become. He has done so much for the organization and the fan base in his time in Pittsburgh. He is, by no means, a perfect player or a perfect person, but in bringing two Super Bowls to the Steelers he has given fans of my generation and younger their only experiences of witnessing a championship in the NFL. For those reasons, I feel Ben Roethlisberger has earned himself some special privileges as he comes to the twilight of his career.

Some may wonder why I am even bringing up the topic, but I’ve heard some very interesting suggestions as to what the Steelers need to do moving forward into the 2020 season. From moving Devin Bush to safety to cutting Cameron Heyward in order to save money on the salary cap, I’ve heard some suggestions which I have deemed unthinkable. One suggestion I’ve heard several times since his season ended in Week 2 was the Steelers should either release or trade Ben Roethlisberger.

While I do not believe the Steelers would ever consider anything of the sort, it did cause me to think about how Ben Roethlisberger’s time in Pittsburgh will ultimately come to an end. After signing an extension before the 2019 season, Roethlisberger is under contract for two more years through 2021. The contract is done in a way where if either Ben or the Steelers decided it was the end after 2020, it would not kill the salary cap. For these reasons, many have wondered if Big Ben play out the remainder of his contract.

My first instinct is yes, he will. Coming off of elbow surgery and his first time ever landing on the Reserve/Injured List, Roethlisberger has more question marks for 2020 than he has had in a long time. Even when he’s missed games to start the season via emergency surgery or suspension, his ability has never been in question. And while I hesitate to question his ability even at this point, to say it isn’t a factor would be foolish. Ben’s future in the NFL may come down to one thing: his elbow.

If Roethlisberger’s elbow is unable to recover to where he can still be a successful NFL quarterback, both he, the team, and the entire fanbase will be struck with some major disappointment. How exactly the situation would play out remains to be seen as the Steelers would be crippled by having to pay Ben’s salary while not having him available in 2020. I’m not sure what both sides would be able to do for each other, so more than anything I am hoping the situation does not arise. Purely a guess, I would assume Ben would be with the Steelers in 2020 but not beyond as the Steelers would save $19 million towards the salary cap in 2021. Just as important, I don’t think Ben could fault the Steelers for moving on if he is unable to perform next season.

If Roethlisberger’s elbow comes back strong for 2020, how is the end of his career in Pittsburgh going to play out? I, for one, think there is too much love and respect between Ben and the organization for it to not play out in everyone’s best interest.

Even if they were aware of any potential elbow problems, the Pittsburgh Steelers organization believed in Rothlisberger enough to sign him through the 2021 season. If Ben is physically able to play, I see both sides honoring the agreement before having to make an ultimate decision. What if Ben decides he wants to keep playing? What if the Steelers decided they can’t afford to sign him to another deal? I think the two sides may have to work on some middle ground as it would be difficult for the Steelers to invest even more of their salary cap into a player who may be trying to play longer than his body will allow him. In fact, they were plenty of fans who felt this way before his last extension.

I may be naïve, but I believe the Steelers know what they’re doing with Ben Roethlisberger. I also believe Ben Roethlisberger knows what he wants to do with the Steelers. Neither side wants to see Ben playing with somebody else. As a fan, do not want to see him some else either. I can’t believe some people would even entertain the notion of trading Ben away just to try to get some value out of him. Hasn’t he been valuable enough with his two Super Bowl victories? It’s not how the Steelers do business.

There are ways to do a player right and ways to do a player wrong. The Steelers are constantly doing their best to do the right thing. Yes, it was a difficult situation with Troy Polamalu when his health kept him from the same on field production he had seen throughout his career. But I still feel the Steelers tried to do things the right way.

When it comes to Ben Roethlisberger, handling the end of his career will be tricky. I’m hoping it’s something which will not need to be discussed for at least two more seasons. But coming off of the season in which Ben did not complete two games or throw a touchdown pass, the idea has to start to creep into the back of every fan‘s mind. Unfortunately, things don’t last forever. But when the end must come, I want to see Ben Roethlisberger go out in the way he wants to go out while keeping the franchise in a good position beyond Ben’s tenure.

BTSC Bookie: Betting various prop bets for Super Bowl LIV

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the BTSC community to show they could cash in betting on NFL football games, this time on prop bets

There is a week off from NFL action leading up to Super Bowl LIV, but for BTSC Bookie we’re going to make the most of the opportunity. We’re going to take this chance for the BTSC community to collectively choose “prop bets” for the Super Bowl and place an imaginary wager of “BTSC Bucks.” Like every other week, I will remind everyone of the rules before voting on specific bets.

Before I get into the procedure of things, I want to remind everyone that gambling addiction is a serous problem numerous people face. Like many things in life, gambling can be a fun and safe exercise if done in moderation, while obsessive gambling can have destructive and life-altering consequences. If you or anyone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, help is available HERE.

The Process

  • We will start with $500 in BTSC Bucks for the season. If we bust, we may borrow from the BTSC Bookie, but will have to pay 20% interest each week it isn’t paid. It’s a steep price, but there are consequences to failure.
  • Bets this week will be on various options of prop bets for the Super Bowl.
  • There will be several betting options for users to place a vote on each prop. The values are as of Tuesday evening and they are locked in throughout the voting. The polls will run until Super Bowl Sunday at 6:15 PM. The top result for each bet will have a $25 wager placed.

Last Week’s Wager

For Divisional Weekend, we went 3-0 with our choices! We started off strong picking the Chiefs to beat the Titans by at least 7.5 points. With the commission of -105, we earned $47.62 above the original bet. For the other game, the vote was for the 49ers defeating the Packers by at least 7.5 points. With the commission of -110, we earned $45.45 of this wager. The final wager was an over/under and the choice was for the Titans and Chiefs to go over 52.5 points. This successful wager also brought in another $45.45. In all, we gained $138.52 for the week.

Week 18 Balance: $1,223.00

Week 19 Net Gain/Loss: +$138.52

Week 19 Total: $1361.52

Prop Bet Options

Here are the options for the prop bet exercise. To better understand the prop bets associated with the Super Bowl, oddsshark.com gives the following breakdown:

What is a Prop Bet?

Short for proposition, a prop bet is a wager based on occurrences or non-occurrences during a sporting event. Unlike point spreads, totals or straight-up wagers, these incidents may not affect the outcome of the game or even the final score. Props are considered novelty bets since they can deal with individual player or team milestones. These milestones are things like how many catches a wide receiver will have (football), how many total goals will be scored (hockey), how many strikes a pitcher will throw (baseball), or how many rebounds a center will grab (basketball).

How to Read Prop Odds

Understanding odds is the first step in making a prop bet. At your online sportsbook of choice, you’ll see prop odds listed as follows:

NFL First Touchdown Scorer: Eagles vs Packers

Davante Adams +300

Aaron Jones +450

Zach Ertz +700

Miles Sanders +1000

If you believe that Adams is going to score the first TD, and you wagered $40 on him, a winning bet would give you a payout of $160 – your original $40 is returned along with your prize of $120.

For the purpose of this example, we used American odds. However, you can choose between decimal (1.20) or fractional (1/5) if you want. Bettors in North America tend to prefer their namesake odds, whereas those in the UK gravitate to fractions. Most betting sites will offer each odds type.

To determine how much you’d win based on the odds and how much you bet, you can use our Odds Calculator.

Super Bowl Prop Betting

The NFL’s biggest Sunday is where you’ll find the most entertaining props. Super Bowl prop betting is huge with bettors of all levels, because you’ll get odds on everything from how many sacks a player will have to which team will score first.

• Coin Toss: Will it land on HEADS or TAILS?

• National Anthem: How long will it take to sing the Star-Spangled Banner?

• Gatorade Color: What color liquid will be dumped on the winning coach?

• MVP: Who will be named Most Valuable Player?

• Player’s Projected Production: How many touchdowns will quarterback X launch? Will there be a safety in the second half? Which receiver will have the longest reception?

For this week, payouts are listed in parenthesis. We will place a $25 on the top vote getter for each prop bet for a total of $150. If you wish to vote more than once, clear your “cookies” on your browser and vote again.