2023 NFL salary cap hits record high


NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL set its salary cap for 2023, and it’s a new record high.

The 2023 offseason is in full swing for 30 of the 32 NFL franchises. While the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles prepare for the Super Bowl, the rest of the league is looking ahead to the start of the new league year and free agency.

The NFL’s official tampering period will begin on March 13th, with the new league year beginning March 15th. That is when teams can start to make moves and bring in veteran talent via free agency.

Up until this point, no one knew what the 2023 salary cap number would be…until now.

Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the new salary cap number in 2023 is a whopping $224.8 million.

After the league negotiated new television deals this past offseason, it was expected the salary cap would increase, but not many predicted it to go all the way to $224 million dollars.

What this means for all teams, especially the Pittsburgh Steelers, has yet to be known. Teams are currently in the midst of signing free agent players to future/reserve contracts, and plenty of moves have to be made to create and manipulate the salary cap. Throw in the rollover money from 2022 and this number can look vastly different for teams.

In other words, this number will fluctuate between now and the start of the new league year, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year and free agency.

Steelers Burning Question: When will the Steelers be in another AFC Championship?


Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars
Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

It’s been a while since the Steelers were in an AFC Championship game. When will they be back?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been deep in offseason preparation for the past several weeks after the 2022 team came up just shy of the postseason with a 9-8 record. We all know the story of how the team started slow and turned it on at the end, but after watching the Kansas City Chiefs narrowly beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game, it begs the question of when the Steelers will be back in the AFC’s big game?

Before getting to the question, it’s important to dissect the team and figure out how far they might be from not just making the postseason, but making a run at the Super Bowl.

Offensively, the Steelers could run back the same 2022 offense, if they wanted. The only free agent of note for the offense is Zach Gentry, and his value is based solely on those who are breaking down his game. The offense, mainly the offensive line, started to kick it in gear down the stretch and finished the season on a high note. Protecting the football and running the ball were paramount, but scoring points on a consistent basis remained a problem.

Defensively, the Steelers have some difficult decisions to make. The following key contributors on defense are entering free agency this offseason:

  • Terrell Edmunds
  • Larry Ogunjobi
  • Damontae Kazee
  • Cam Sutton
  • Robert Spillane
  • Devin Bush
  • Chris Wormley

Not all of those players will be back, and more may leave than stay, but the Steelers defense will have holes to fill this offseason both by free agency and the NFL Draft.

When it comes to the other tangible aspects of the team heading into the offseason it is important to note the amount of salary cap space the team currently has. If you’ve been paying attention to the updates here at BTSC, provided by Dave Schofield, you’ve seen the overall number dwindle as the team has started to sign players to future/reserve contracts and fill out their 90-man offseason roster. Nonetheless, with a few decisions by Omar Khan the team could free up significant amount of cap space to operate this offseason.

On top of that, the team also possess three draft picks in the Top 50 in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. Sure, they have to hit on those picks, but the prospects are intriguing, to say the least.

When you add all that up, you have to wonder how long it may take until the organization has built a roster capable of making a serious run. And by serious run I’m talking about being in the AFC Championship game, on win away from the Super Bowl.

Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the NFL offseason.


This was also the topic of my “Let’s Ride” podcast last Friday where I dove head-first into this topic and then some. Check it out in the player below if you missed it:

Steelers continue their draft meetings at the Shrine Bowl


TCU v West Virginia
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are at All-Star games getting to know potential draft picks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers new, and hopefully improved, scouting department is on the scouting trail as major All-Star games are happening this week. The East-West Shrine Bowl is happening as of now, and the Senior Bowl is slated to begin Tuesday in Mobile, Alabama.

As you can imagine, the Steelers and all 32 NFL teams are present at these games and are doing their diligence on potential prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.

At the Shrine Bowl, players are starting to state who they’ve met with. The first player to admit he met with the Steelers was West Virginia University wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton.

Wheaton, playing his college football in the BIG 12, was able to show some decent skills for the Mountaineers. Nonetheless, for those who don’t know much about Ford-Wheaton, here is a draft profile on him from The Draft Network:

Top Reasons to Buy In:

  • Blend of size and ball skills is an exciting mix
  • Nose for the end zone and explosive plays
  • Difficult to press with physicality at the line
  • Developmental upside

Top Reasons For Concern:

  • Struggles with separation
  • Inconsistent hands yield too many drops
  • Currently a one-dimensional player whose college offense leaves a lot of growth
  • Developmental curve will take time and patience to work through

Size:

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 225 lbs

Ideal Role: Traditional X-receiver

Scheme Fit: Vertical passing offense

Prospect Comparison: Preston Williams (2019 NFL Draft)


The other player who said he met with the Steelers during the lead-up to the Shrine Bowl was UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

The Steelers looking at quarterbacks might seem foreign to some, considering they drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. However, Mason Rudolph is likely to leave via free agency, and the future of Mitch Trubisky is in doubt considering his salary cap hit entering the 2023 season.

This would be a reason why the team is looking at young quarterbacks to fill out their quarterback room. Want to know more about Thompson-Robinson, get the low down on him as a prospect in the draft profile from The Draft Network:

Top Reasons to Buy In:

  • Athleticism
  • Arm strength
  • Football character

Top Reasons For Concern:

  • Accuracy
  • Poise
  • Decision-making

Size:

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 205 lbs

Ideal Role: Developmental quarterback who can help in certain packages

Scheme Fit: Spread offense


There will be more meetings being announced this week, and not all will be made public, but we will do the best we can to let you know who the Steelers have met with throughout this week of workouts.

Be sure to keep tabs on all the meetings the Steelers have had so far with the Pre-NFL Draft Meeting tracker in the link below:

In the meantime, stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.

2023 NFL Playoffs: Bengals vs. Chiefs game time, news and open thread


NFL: AFC Championship-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the NFL Championship Round of the playoffs!

The NFL is preparing for their Championship weekend, and most football fans would say this round of the NFL Playoffs is the best, and most competitive, round of football as the field of 4 gets trimmed to the two teams who will play in the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers finished just on the outside of the playoff picture after they didn’t get the help needed despite winning four straight games to finish the season 9-8. Nonetheless, it is time to take a look at the upcoming slate of games, and we, as a staff, make our picks for the weekend’s actions.

Take a look at game times, odds and our picks below:

(Odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, and are subject to change.)

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs — 6:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: CBS
Location: Arrowhead Field, Kansas City, MO
Odds: CIN (+1.5)
O/U: 48
Moneyline: CIN +100 / KC -120


Enjoy the games with fellow black-and-gold faithful, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the NFL offseason.

2023 NFL Playoffs: 49ers vs. Eagles game time, news and open thread


NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoffs-Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the NFL Championship Round of the playoffs!

The NFL is preparing for their Championship weekend, and most football fans would say this round of the NFL Playoffs is the best, and most competitive, round of football as the field of 4 gets trimmed to the two teams who will play in the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers finished just on the outside of the playoff picture after they didn’t get the help needed despite winning four straight games to finish the season 9-8. Nonetheless, it is time to take a look at the upcoming slate of games, and we, as a staff, make our picks for the weekend’s actions.

Take a look at game times, odds and our picks below:

(Odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, and are subject to change.)

Sunday, January 29th

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles — 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: FOX
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Odds: SF (+2.5)
O/U: 46.5
Moneyline: SF +130 / PHI -150


Enjoy the games with fellow black-and-gold faithful, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the NFL offseason.