Two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is dead set on playing next season after a pretty solid performance in 2020. Whether that happens with the Steelers remains to be seen.
Pittsburgh currently finds itself an estimated $24.84 million over the 2021 NFL salary cap. The team is going to have to cut the fat somewhere.
That could potentially come in the form of Big Ben restructuring his contract. If not, the Steelers could simply move on from him. However unlikely that might be, a pending meeting between Roethlisberger and his team could be telling.
Ben Roethlisberger to meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers to discuss contract
“Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are expected to meet some time next week to discuss his future and contract, per source. Both sides took some time away after the season,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Thursday. “Roethlisberger wants to return for an 18th NFL season but his $41M cap hit must be addressed.”
There’s certainly some major issues general manager Kevin Colbert must address ahead of the start of free agency. This includes three key free agents set to hit the open market in that of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bud Dupree and starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Each of these three players is looking at $15-plus million annually in free agency.
Ben Roethlisberger contract
As noted in the above-linked report, Big Ben is set to count $41 million against the cap in 2021. As of right now, that would be the largest cap hit among NFL players. Simply put, Roethlisberger will not play next season under the current terms of his contract.
The likeliest scenario here is that Big Ben and the Steelers come to terms on a restructured contract. That would likely come in the form of an extension, lowering his cap figure by $20 million or so.
Despite the quarterback movement we’re seeing around the NFL right now, it seems to be highly unlikely that Roethlisberger will ever play for another team after playing the first 17 seasons of his career in Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger, 38, is coming off a 2020 season that saw him complete 65.6% of his passes for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. It was his best statistical performance since all the way back in 2014.