For a team that made the NFL Playoffs this past season, the vibes around the Pittsburgh Steelers heading into the offseason aren't the best. Fans were immediately dubious of Arthur Smith's hiring as the club's new offensive coordinator, the quarterback position looks anything but settled with Kenny Pickett's future looking bleaker by the day, and there are other clear areas to upgrade.
What's further complicating things for the Steelers heading into the 2024 offseason, however, is their salary cap situation. Per Over the Cap, Pittsburgh is $19 million over the cap in effective cap space (the number based on the current Top 51 on the roster and new draft class being signed). That means the organization has some serious work to do to create some room to sign any free agent upgrades, or just to simply have flexibility.
Sure, the Steelers could restructure the contracts of players like T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick, among others, to create some breathing room. But the unfortunate truth of the business is that there will be cap casualties this offseason. And in that light and based on numbers from Over the Cap, these five players appear in danger of being cut in order to create cap room.
Steelers Rumors: 5 cap casualties to watch for 2024 offseason
5. Mitchell Trubisky, QB (Post-June 1 Cap Savings: $5.25 million)
Whenever Kenny Pickett went down in the 2023 season, the first quarterback that the Steelers turned to as a backup was veteran Mitchell Trubisky. The former No. 2 overall pick was never going to be a world-beeater, which everyone in Pittsburgh was aware of. Even then, however, it would've been nice to see more than what Trubisky delivered.
Appearing in five games, Trubisky was subpar as a passer, completing just 67-of-107 throws (62.6%) with four touchdowns to five interceptions while averaging a miserable 126.4 yards per game. There was a reason the team eventually moved to Mason Rudolph, who severely out-performed Trubisky once he got the nod.
As mentioned, the Steelers will be answering quarterback questions all offseason. It's entirely likely that, if they do create cap room, they pursue a veteran option like Ryan Tannehill -- pairing him back up with Arthur Smith -- to put in the building with Pickett. That's likely going to push either Trubisky or Rudolph out of the picture, and the more than $5 million of cap savings for cutting Trubisky as a post-June 1 designation makes him the most likely candidate.
Sure, even as a post-June 1 cut, Trubisky would still hold more than a $2 million dead cap hit for Pittsburgh. But that's not nearly as detrimental as the $7.5+ million cap hit he would carry otherwise. Based on the way the offseason is trending, you can almost set your watch on Trubisky playing somewhere other than with the Steelers in 2024.