The final chapter of Ben Roethlisberger’s career as the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback has yet to be written, as he will return for another year per his agent and NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala.
According to Roethlisberger’s agent, Ryan Tollner, the Steelers want Roethlisberger back for another season and that they are “happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible.” Roethlisberger’s agent went on to say:
A year ago, Ben wasn’t sure if he could throw again, but he battled back to get 12 wins and the eighth division title of his career. They lost steam down the stretch and that doesn’t sit well for him, so the fire burns strong and there is plenty of gas in the tank.
There appears to have been plenty of discussion amongst the Steelers brass and coaching staff around Roethlisberger’s future with the team, but it looks like they will go with the devil they know versus starting from scratch.
President Art RooneyII issued this statement, per Brian Batko:
Ben assured me that he is committed to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to help us win a championship. We both understand that the next step is to work out Ben’s contract situation.
The salary cap situation has the Steelers around $30 million over the cap, so Roethlisberger’s contract will need to be redone. It looks like they could free up around 14.3 million for 2021, but that will continue to push dead cap space up in the future:
What a maximum restructure of Ben Roethlisberger’s current contract w/ the #Steelers would look like, freeing up $14.34M of cap space in 2021, but adding $14.34M of dead cap for 2022 when the deal voids. pic.twitter.com/2wIpNfUomb— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 24, 2021
Roethlisberger and the Steelers did indeed lose steam down the stretch after a 11 game winning streak to start the season in 2020. Much of that trouble can be attributed across the team, but there is no doubt that Roethlisberger’s command slipped as the season went along. He may be their best option this season, but there is little doubt they need to find his replacement sooner than later, as Mason Rudolph, their current backup, hasn’t shown he can handle the job.