Steelers Expected to Make Another Move With New CB Donte Jackson

Donte Jackson

Getty The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac wrote that the Pittsburgh Steelers will "re-do" the contract of new cornerback Donte Jackson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t fare well in the trade for cornerback Donte Jackson in the eyes of many NFL analysts. The Steelers gave up former Pro Bowl wide receiver Diontae Johnson, leaving a big hole at receiver and didn’t receive significant draft capital or salary cap relief in return.

But The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac wrote on March 13 that the Steelers still have one more move to make with Jackson.

“The Steelers are going to re-do his deal so he doesn’t count $10.5 million against the cap in 2024,” Dulac wrote in a fan chat. “Probably sign him to a new two-year deal.”

Dulac again addressed the Steelers potentially signing Jackson to extension when he received a question about whether Pittsburgh could release the cornerback to get more cap space.

“No chance at all [the Steelers release Jackson],” Dulac wrote. “And, I said earlier, they will re-do Jackson’s contract to lessen the hit. Patience, my friend.”

Jackson is entering the final year of a 3-year contract that he signed with the Carolina Panthers. The deal was worth a total of $35.18 million.

As Dulac mentioned, Jackson is currently set to have about a $10.52 million cap hit in 2024.

Steelers Could Get Salary Cap Relief From Extending CB Donte Jackson

Jackson has a smaller cap hit than Johnson, but by trading the 27-year-old wideout, the Steelers accepted a $5.83 million dead cap hit. That’s a $1.2 million larger dead cap hit than the one the Steelers took by releasing quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Therefore, the Jackson-Johnson trade was a near equal trade in terms of cap money exchanged. Spotrac reported on March 13 that the Steelers possess about $18.9 million in cap space remaining for the 2024 season.

That ranks 17th in the NFL and about $4 million under league average, which Spotrac placed at roughly $23.59 million.

That’s not a ton of space with wide receiver, center, safety and defensive line still outstanding needs for the Steelers. The team could also use more cornerback depth even with the addition of Jackson.

Dulac’s proposal that the Steelers sign Jackson to an extension, though, would open additional space.

Dulac didn’t speculate what kind of extension Jackson could be worth. But Steelers Depot’s Joe Clark noted Jackson is due a roster bonus on March 16.

The Steelers will have to agree to a contract extension with Jackson prior to that date. That means fans could know Jackson’s value on an extension very soon.

Other Ways Steelers Could Create Additional Salary Cap Space

The Jackson-Johnson trade left the Steelers with another need and arguably didn’t completely fill one at cornerback. That’s why getting more cap space with a re-worked Jackson deal is essential.

But the Steelers could also still create more cap space with other contract restructures or extensions.’s All Steelers’ Noah Strackbein named edge rusher T.J. Watt, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and edge rusher Alex Highsmith all contract restructure candidates. The Steelers could also extend defensive lineman Cameron Heyward on a new contract.

Heyward is entering his final season and holds a current cap hit of $22.4 million for the 2024 season.

All of those moves, combined with a Jackson extension, could make several more additions or another splash signing in free agency, a possibility for the Steelers.

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