The Steelers and Roethlisberger are expected to restructure his contract before the new league year starts March 13, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. In the past, the Steelers have come to an agreement on extensions for Roethlisberger with two years and one year remaining on existing deals, so the veteran signal-caller is on pace for another with one year left on his current contract. This time around, the Antonio Brown (knee) saga is precipitating the potential need for cap space. With the Steelers perhaps contemplating moving on from Brown, a trade would include a dead-cap hit of $21.25 million, and a high-priced player like Roethlisberger, who is owed $23.2 million in 2019, is one of the best to provide relief. At the very least, Roethlisberger will come to terms on a contract beyond the 2019 season at some point in the next two months.
Roethlisberger said he will return for the 2019 season, Chris Adamski of TribLive.com reports. "I have another year on my contract," Roethlisberger said Sunday. "And if No. 53 (Maurkice Pouncey) is coming back, I'm coming back." While the comment probably shouldn't be taken literally, the 29-year-old Pouncey does have one season remaining on a long-term contract -- same as his close friend Roethlisberger. The 36-year-old quarterback has openly pondered retirement in past seasons, drawing unnecessary attention from the media when there was little chance he would actually hang up his cleats. He's taking a different approach this time around, putting an end to the discussion before anyone can start it. Roethlisberger set career-high marks for passing yards (5,129), touchdowns (34) and attempts (675) in 2018, but he nonetheless loses a streak of four consecutive playoff appearances, with an inconsistent defense and poor play on special teams limiting the Steelers to a 9-6-1 record. Even with a tricky cap situation, Pittsburgh figures to retain the core of its 2018 offense, including Roethlisberger, Pouncey, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner and Jaylen Samuels. The key free agents on offense are 33-year-old guard Ramon Foster and No. 2 tight end Jesse James.
Roethlisberger completed 31 of 45 passes for 287 yards with one touchdown and one interception during Sunday's 16-13 win over Cincinnati. He also had three carries for three yards. Pittsburgh struggled on offense the first half -- managing just three points -- but the defense kept the game close enough to pull out a victory in the final two minutes. This was a must-win game for Pittsburgh, which needs the game between Indianapolis and Tennessee to end in a tie in order to make the playoffs. Roethlisberger finishes the 2018 season completing 452 of 675 passes for 5,128 yards with a 34:16 TD:INT ratio. He also ran for 98 yards on 31 carries and caught one pass -- from himself -- for minus-1 yard. Roethlisberger has one year remaining on his current contract and, for the first time in the past few years, has not talked about retiring. Whether Big Ben plays beyond next season remains to be seen.
Roethlisberger completed 33 of 50 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns during Sunday's 31-28 loss to New Orleans. The Steelers have thrown 35 more passes than any other team this year -- the Colts are second with 609 -- as Roethlisberger has chucked up 45-plus attempts in four of his past six games. The issue is, the veteran quarterback has been characteristically vulnerable to turnovers down the stretch, throwing five interceptions over the past five games as Pittsburgh has gone 1-4 to fall out of playoff positioning headed into Week 17. The fantasy production had been lacking somewhat of late prior to Sunday's huge output against New Orleans, with Roethlisberger finishing 10th or worse in QB scoring (standard) over four straight showings between Week 12 and Week 15. With Pittsburgh trying to scratch and claw its way into the postseason with a win over Cincinnati and a Baltimore loss (among other, less likely scenarios), Roethlisberger will look to pick apart a Bengals defense that's allowed an NFL-high 34 touchdowns to opposing QBs in 2018.
Roethlisberger completed 22 of 34 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Steelers' 17-10 win over the Patriots on Sunday. He also lost three yards on two rushes. While the two interceptions were certainly a blemish, Roethlisberger made enough key plays to help the Steelers to the critical victory over a conference rival that had often bedeviled them in the past. Big Ben notably spread the ball around, connecting with eight different receivers. He found Vance McDonald and Antonio Brown for touchdowns of five and 17 yards in the first and second quarter, respectively, and just missed two others to McDonald and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The veteran gunslinger didn't enjoy the same downfield success he had in other games, as his 32-yard hook-up with James Washington served as Roethlisberger's lowest game-long completion of the season. Roethlisberger did manage to extend his multi-touchdown streak to three games, and he'll look to continue it against the Saints in a Week 16 interconference showdown.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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