Roethlisberger Willing To Restructure Deal

Shortly after Art Rooney II indicated Ben Roethlisberger would need to restructure his contract to return to the Steelers next season, the future Hall of Fame quarterback said he would do so.

Roethlisberger, who has contended he wants to return for an 18th season, said Thursday he is not concerned about money for the 2021 season and is willing to restructure, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic reports (on Twitter). Roethlisberger’s deal calls for a whopping $41MM cap hit next season. The 38-year-old quarterback went to the Steelers about restructuring his contract.

I want to do everything I can and made that very clear to them from the very beginning that it was my idea to basically help the team however I can this year,” Roethlisberger said, via Bouchette (Twitter links). “I am pretty sure I want to go one more year (because) I think I can do it and give us a real chance (at) winning.”

The Steelers are projected to be more than $30MM over a $175MM cap, though it is not known how far the cap will drop from this year’s $198MM ceiling. And that is without players like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bud Dupree or Mike Hilton factoring into Pittsburgh’s 2021 payroll. More work will need to be done in order for the Steelers to move under the cap, but Roethlisberger agreeing to a pay cut would make matters much easier for the AFC North champions.

Roethlisberger signed his latest extension, which runs through 2021, in 2019. After counting $23.8MM against Pittsburgh’s 2020 cap, Big Ben’s contract balloons to the untenable $41.25MM figure next season. The decorated quarterback is due a $15MM roster bonus on the third day of the next league year. These numbers appear set to change soon.

Fond of restructures, the Steelers have continually made bad cap situations work. Though this year presents a greater challenge, due to the pandemic forcing a long-expected cap reduction. The franchise also has not made an investment in Big Ben’s surefire successor, even though it has Mason Rudolph and now Dwayne Haskins signed to low-cost deals. Roethlisberger returning at a reduced rate would surely help the Steelers next season, but the team losing several starters in free agency would make it difficult to assemble the kind of roster it possessed this past season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “Roethlisberger Willing To Restructure Deal

  1. Ak185

    They’ll certainly try to re-sign Hilton, and likely make an attempt at Dupree. Without a hometown discount, though, I don’t see the Dupree re-up happening.

    The other longer term questions on the team-center, defensive end, corner, running back, and tight end-figure to be addressed as well this offseason. The number of positions that will need to be filled either this year or next means that the Steelers will have to be very selective with their free agency moves and will likely be forced to fill those spots with mostly drafted talent. Of course, that’s been their modus operandi for years. Ben was able to cover up a lot of deficiencies this year on offense, but this team has a few question marks and soon to be questions in aged veterans at several positions.

    It’s in the Steelers’ best interest to not have to worry about the quarterback just yet and it’s in Ben’s to give them some needed space to give him and the team a better cast to take away some of the burden.

    • mlbnyyfan

      Sounds like Big Ben not done playing. Start looking for his replacement. What about Darnold?

      • Ak185

        I don’t think that’s be bad, if NYJ decide to let him loose. And finding a QB would be ideal, but there are a lot of positions that the Steelers need to find heirs for.

        Heyward, Dupree, Haden, Pouncey, and Alualu are all significant contributors who need to replaced this year or next. They don’t really have cap space to bring over a younger, longer term free agent, so they’re going to have to find drafted replacements for all of them. That’s also not including less significant starters/semi-starters like Ebron, Smith-Schuster, McDonald, Williams, Conner, and Snell. These are all players who will need their production replaced in addition to the more significant players, which will likely take a couple of offseasons to sort out.

        A QB heir would be great, and luckily for Pittsburgh, there could be one or two younger talents or former rising players who fell from grace that could be available for cheap depending on events (from Darnold to Winston to Lock to even Rosen). They could also sign one of the bridge starter types who could be available in next couple of seasons (like Fitzpatrick, Dalton, Newton, or Bridgewater). In either case, the Steelers will have someone to start while they fill the position through the draft later and work on the rest of their holes now. It just buys them some time to have Roethlisberger adjust his deal for a year or two.

  2. Yep it is

    Big Ben accepting a pay cut. Hmmm how much is a wounded duck of an arm 4 yard a passer worth? I guess if he doesn’t play he could guard the women’s restroom. Oh that’s right he couldn’t do that either.

    • Ak185

      Alright, seriously, I gotta know. Who do you actually like? Or at least, not dislike?

  3. ElGaupo77

    I’ve been a Steeler fan since birth in the 70s. I CAN’T WAIT until he retires.

    “Please just retire already, You’re not that good and you’re a terrible role model. “

  4. Simmons>Russ

    Please oh please invest at RB.
    You did great to win the first 11 games but I don’t think you win more than 6 next year playing the same way. You can’t have Ben at almost 40 throwing 60 times a game to players that drop the ball.
    Get a RB to help Big Ben out and take some of the pressure off them on offence. They have a good enough o line for someone to come in and do well

  5. 2012orioles

    Steelers went 30 years to find the next Bradshaw in Big Ben, yet fans want to run him out of town. We’ve been spoiled to have the same qb for the last 16 years.

  6. MileHighFan

    The Steelers are going to crater next year, as Roethlisberger has lost his fast ball and they got nobody on the bench who can play in the NFL.

  7. tommytbom

    Coach and Ben could get a 2 for 1 going away party. COVID style, no one goes to the party. GAH BY !

  8. BettisHOF

    Not going to find a franchise qb thru trades, will take too much draft capital they can’t afford with aging vets and F/As.

    Find it hard to believe someone who claims to have been a Steelers fan since the 70s would wanna run Ben out of town… obviously you don’t remember suffering through mark malone, bubby, Neil (bribed to lose Super Bowl), slash, tommy gun, tomczak, batch… who am I missing??? Was a rough 25ish years

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