Roethlisberger's re-worked contract with the Steelers frees up about $15 million in immediate salary cap space for the team, NFL.com's Nick Shook reports. Roethlisberger, whose 2021 salary went from $19 million to $14 million per his new agreement, had been slated to carry a $41.25 million cap hit this coming season. The veteran QB's restructured deal helps the Steelers salary cap situation as free agency approaches and should help the franchise better address its needs at other positions.
The Steelers have signed Roethlisberger to a new contract for the 2021 season. While the details of his 2021 compensation have yet to be released, it's assumed that the QB's existing contract was re-worked in order to reduce his salary cap hit, which was previously scheduled to be $41.25 million. With Roethlisberger's services having been secured for the coming season, the Steelers will now have decisions to make with regard to other key offensive cogs, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and RB James Conner, who are both eligible to become free agents later this month.
Steelers president Art Rooney II said Wednesday that Roethlisberger will stay with the team for 2021, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. Rooney met with Roethlisberger on Tuesday and released a statement about the franchise quarterback Wednesday. While his statement acknowledges that Roethlisberger's contract situation still needs to be addressed, Rooney all but confirmed that the soon-to-be 39-year-old will be the Steelers' starting quarterback for at least one more season. Roethlisberger is currently scheduled for a $41.25 million cap hit in 2021, the second season of a two-year extension. Reducing his cap charge requires either a pay cut or another extension, though the latter wouldn't necessarily mean Roethlisberger intends to play beyond 2021. Meanwhile, the Steelers have four offensive stars scheduled for free agency this offseason -- wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, running back James Conner, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and right tackle Matt Feiler.
Roethlisberger is expected to be the Steelers' starting quarterback in 2021, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network reports. "[The Steelers] want Ben back and will contact me soon to address his cap situation," Roethlisberger's agent Ryan Tollner said. "We are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible." As it stands, Roethlisberger will carry a $41.25 million cap hit, but he has already signaled that he's willing to restructure his deal to bring that number down as the Steelers look to defend their AFC North title. In his first season after elbow surgery, Roethlisberger was clearly less than 100 percent, particularly with the deep ball. He still completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,803 yards (6.3 YPA), 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Roethlisberger turns 39 years old in March, and there's a good chance that he enters the 2021 season without JuJu Smith-Schuster, which would leave Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and James Washington as his top three pass-catchers.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert didn't give a strong endorsement for Roethlisberger being the team's starting quarterback in 2021, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. "As we sit here, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Colbert said Wednesday. " He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play. We told him we have to look at this current situation." Roethlisberger hasn't publicly declared his intention to play another season, but he strongly hinted at it in late January, when he said he "doesn't care" about his 2021 compensation and is willing to restructure his contract to help the Steelers stay under the salary cap. He's scheduled for a $41 million cap hit, and while the Steelers shouldn't have too much trouble lowering that number, it might have a cost in terms of future cap ramifications. Colbert seemingly prefers to keep all options on the table, though Roethlisberger sticking around for another year remains the most likely scenario.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||Las Vegas Raiders||24||22.38|
|4||10/03||@Green Bay Packers||7||18.00|
|11||11/21||@Los Angeles Chargers||25||22.63|
|16||12/26||@Kansas City Chiefs||18||21.26|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||65.8||3094||22||9||39||1||248|