Ben Roethlisberger Intends To Return In 2021

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is under contract through the 2021 season, and he has no intention of hanging up the cleats before then. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the 38-year-old signal-caller will be back in 2021.

When Big Ben signed his latest deal in April 2019, Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert indicated it would likely be the franchise icon’s last contract with the Steelers. But Colbert later walked back those comments a bit, and owner Art Rooney II said he is open to another Roethlisberger extension that would take him into his age-40 season (and perhaps beyond).

Though Roethlisberger clearly has lost some arm strength and is averaging 6.3 yards per pass attempt — which would be a career-low for a season in which he has played more than two games — he remains one of the most accurate passers in the league and has thrown 29 TDs against just nine interceptions. All told, that amounts to a 94.9 QB rating, and his play is a big reason why the 11-2 Steelers are on the verge of an AFC North title.

A recent report indicated that the organization is concerned about Roethlisberger’s lingering knee injury and his increasing reliance on the short passing game, but Pittsburgh still profiles as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And while Schefter says the campaign has indeed taken a physical toll on Roethlisberger, sources close to the quarterback say he is having too much fun and likes the team too much to retire at the end of the season.

Due to a contract restructure in March, Roethlisberger is set to have a gargantuan cap hit of $41.25MM in 2021. Even if the salary cap does not drop at all, one would think that another extension or some other type of kick-the-can-down-the-road machination would be in play in order to keep the rest of the roster as stocked as possible. There will still be some difficult decisions to make, but the Steelers will doubtlessly be happy to have their two-time Super Bowl champion back next season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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30 comments on “Ben Roethlisberger Intends To Return In 2021

  1. julyn82001

    I think Ben is still sorta healing that elbow but no doubt he is the Steelers’ anchor…

  2. Patrick N.

    Good. I just wanna see Cleveland manage to beat him once before he retires lol. Hopefully when he’s fully healthy too. Hate seeing great talents not playing 100%

  3. crosseyedlemon

    Ben has basically become the same type of financial albatross that Eli Manning was for the Giants at the end. I’d be taking Belichick’s approach and search for a discounted QB as insurance. Washington is very eager to unload Haskins so that could be one option.

    • dust44

      Except Ben besides last year being injured has been way better then Eli thru his career. But yes agree on Haskins. Would love to get him or Lance/Jones as Big Bens replacement in the draft this offseason. But something has to b done behind him to get younger with more upside. Rudolph sure isn’t it.

      • padam

        Would’ve said Darnold until the Jets blew that dream yesterday. One year behind Ben and I think the transition would’ve been complete.

  4. letmeclearmythroat74

    Not what he used to be … will be one and done in playoffs. One of the easiest schedules of any playoff team. He once was great … but he’s just decent now. I get it comes with age … before you blame it on drops and running game … again ? One of the easiest schedules … so how bad is that , can catch or run against easy comp. Be thankful for your defense … that’s why you’re a playoff team…

    • 2012orioles

      I’ve heard enough of the easy schedule. Absoluslty it was easy. Ravens, browns played the same teams though and you don’t hear a word about that. Steelers played bills instead of pats, ravens played chiefs instead of Broncos. That said, the chiefs are the team to beat. On paper the chiefs win the afc. But it’s football. I think any team can beat them. And I think the Steelers bills and ravens have a better chance than most to do so. Chiefs have had 5 straight games I believe end in 1 possession wins. They aren’t without flaws. They’re mighty good though. But have they faced a defense as good as the Steelers this year? Again, the chiefs are the favorite, and the Steelers aren’t the 16-0 team that many knew they weren’t, but I wouldn’t be asking to play the Steelers either.

      • louwhitakerisahofer

        Sadly, the Chiefs won’t have to face the “good” Steelers D that you mention. The loss of Bush early in the year and Dupree more recently make them a much lesser version. Still good, but not one that the Chiefs couldn’t pick right through.

      • letmeclearmythroat74

        Anything you snag to take back all? Anyone seen the halftime score. Steelers are so overrated because they haven’t played anyone …. Ben looks his age …. just saying … as I said, they will get knocked out hard in the first round

        • 2012orioles

          If they’re offense plays like they have the past few weeks then absolute they’d be out first round. No one would deny that.

  5. Simmons>Russ

    Steelers in the draft should actually draft a running back with their first round selection cause that’s something they lack.
    In fact If you can get a really good RB then that’ll take the pressure off Big Ben and possibly make it able for him to play till he’s 40.

    They should be looking at Travis Eitenne or Hajee Harris. Of these two Eitenne is expected to go first but I think Harris could possibly actually be a better long term option. Harris finished this season off really really well, including 5 TDs just the other day. He’s from Alabama who have produced the likes of Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram. Depending on his Combine results he could be available near the middle to late second round.

    Maybe try trade your first down for a second and a third, giving you 2 seconds and 2 thirds

    • louwhitakerisahofer

      No way the Steelers draft a RB in the 1st round (even though they should). In 30 years, they e done it twice (Mendenhall and Tim Worley, neither of which lived up to expectations).

      They will 100% draft a QB in the first round this year, unless more come off the board earlier than expected. With Big Ben’s contract up next year, they finally need a transition guy to take over. The Steelers will user Ben into retirement like Polamalu.

      Zach Miller from BYU would be amazing, but that kid is playing himself into a top 15 pick. Trash from Florida is the likely option. If that’s the case, I agree… they should trade down.

      • Ak185

        Ehhh Mendenhall had a good couple of seasons. You’re right as to the expectations.

        I agree that Pittsburgh needs to take the best back available, whether in the first or not. They also could use a wideout who can beat press or, better yet, a tight end. Ebron is acceptable and McDonald is good, but neither are the volume pass catchers that Ben could use when Claypool is doubled or tripled on tough catches. The Steelers WR corps has been very feast or famine this year, and they’ve really struggled with drops and creating separation. Even with the Claypool pick, I could certainly see another receiver taken highly.

        • louwhitakerisahofer

          Maybe I’m jaded because I still feel like the a Mendenhall fumble in the Super Bowl cost them the game. But I’m not bitter almost a decade later or anything. Lol

          Steelers draft WRs in the second round. And you’re right, they may draft again to (as a replacement to JuJu and James Washington).

  6. K3vin

    Reality is setting in for Pittsburgh. They aren’t that good and lucky to have the record they have.

  7. Ak185

    The Steelers have really relied entirely too much on Ben’s quick passing to cover up their deficiencies in the run game, pass blocking, and even at receiver this year. Whether due to injury or skill set, they’ve fundamentally failed to run the ball against above average defenses and have used the quick passes to compensate. All of a sudden Villanueva has looked average in pass protection, Pouncey has looked bad when available, and the line is struggling in protection. The receivers struggle to get open or make contested catches, with the exception of Claypool. With all of these factors, Ben can not afford to play badly, as he did tonight.

    Even when he plays well, however, the offense has become so one dimensional and dependent on him that defenses can predict what’s coming. The entire offense is essentially built on Ben reading the defense pre-snap and getting the ball to a spot before being hit. If he misreads it, misses the throw, or is hit (not to mention the receiver not getting read by a waiting defender), the Steelers are screwed. And they don’t have any other way of scoring. The more you watch their games, the more you see the dependency on Roethlisberger. This is a bad policy for any quarterback, let alone a 40 something coming off a major injury. The defense was elite enough early to help keep scoring down and force turnovers for short fields, but the injuries there have given the offense less of a margin for error.

    People have observed in the past that teams have been too dependent on quarterbacks or individual players to win them games. It’s a common sentiment. But I honestly cannot remember a team that was so utterly dependent on one player in its offense to win games, even considering the old Manning and Brees offenses at the beginning of the decade.

    • 2012orioles

      Spot on. Ben is getting older and is being asked too much. No running makes it a one dimmensional offense. Defense is one of the best in the league. This team can compete. I think Steelers fans will wish they realized what they had for how long once he retires, when we are looking for the next Big Ben and end up with 3 mason rudolphs before settling on an Alex smith type player. This team was scoring nearly 30 points a game before the last 4 games. I’m not gonna throw in the towel. Too many veterans on this team. They need to turn it around or else their 1 and done

  8. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Ben intends to return in 2021 and he doesn’t take “no” for an answer.

  9. mario crosby

    After the performance against Cincinnati and the three weeks prior to that does Art Rooney really think this is a quarterback who should be paid into his 40s? Cut him, eat the salary cap hit, makes some trades for additional draft picks and go through a bad season to reboot.

  10. Wade Herbers

    After seeing that Bengals game I’d be real nervous with Bens cap hit…..he looked like Sh!#!!!!

    • Ak185

      The Steelers go nowhere this year that Ben doesn’t take them. The game was hardly reflective of Ben’s play this year and much more reflective of the Steelers’ total lack of any offensive capability outside of “Ben, read the defense and bail us out.” It’s bad, yes, but Ben has been the only offensive piece who has played consistently for most of the year and has totally shouldered the offense this season.

    • bucincharlotte

      Love Ben and what he has done but the game has changed so much with mobile QB’s and the fact that they will need to rebuild due to cap issues it will be a bare bones team.

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