The Pittsburgh Steelers have quite a bit of work to do this off-season.   This franchise needs every penny of salary cap space it can muster.  Pittsburgh currently is roughly $45 million under the cap heading into next season.  That’s good for tenth most overall in the NFL.  

With all the issues facing this team in 2022 they will undoubtedly need more. Having said that, let’s take a look at the top five potential Steelers cap casualties in 2022:

5.  Derek Watt: Cap hit ($4.7)

The Derek Watt signing was a mystery from day one.  For a team who is perpetually in salary cap jail, to spend this much on a fullback seems a bit excessive.  On the other hand, if it had one percent to do with getting his brother resigned it is money well spent.  However, now it is time to part ways with their little used fullback.  The nearly $3 million in cap savings can be much better used elsewhere.

4.  Joe Haeg: Cap hit ($3.1)

Just another in a long list of curious off-season moves by Kevin Colbert in 2021.  The Steelers general manager gave this journeyman tackle a two year, $4.6 million contract.  Fortunately this contract was written where the Steelers can get out of it in 2022 with relative ease.  They would stand to save $2 million against the cap by cutting Haeg after the season.

3.  Tyson Alualu:  Cap hit ($3.5)

In a perfect world this contract would be an absolute steal.  When healthy, Tyson Alualu is a very good 3/4 nose tackle on a reasonable contract.  Unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world.  At 34 years old, Alualu’s body is breaking down.  This team can not afford to pin their hopes on stopping the run on a nearly 35 year old nose tackle.

2.  Zach Banner:  Cap hit ($6.2)

Perhaps the worst contract that Kevin Colbert has ever given out.  The Steelers signed Banner to a two year, $10 million contract this past off-season.  This despite Banner having just one career start, and coming off major surgery.  It made very little sense at the time, and now that Banner has not made a single start in 2021 it makes even less sense to keep him.  The good news is the team can save $5 million under the cap by cutting him after the season.  With this type of evaluation, its no wonder why the Steelers are in the mess they’re in on the offensive line. Steelers plan at offensive line already in turmoil

1.  Joe Schobert:  Cap hit ($9.7)

When it comes to Steelers cap casualties in 2022, Mr. Schobert will undoubtedly be number one in line.  The trade was understandable at the time because the team was desperate after the sudden retirement of Vince Williams.  The only reason Schobert was available at all was due to his oversized contract.  He has not come close to solving this team’s inside linebacker issues.  This was gamble with taking by Colbert, but it’s not worth saving at nearly $10 million against the cap.