Latest On Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger

After a whole lot of drama, it now appears that Ben Roethlisberger is in fact going to be the Steelers’ starting quarterback in 2021. Things aren’t wrapped up though, as Big Ben still needs to adjust his contract in a way that satisfies Pittsburgh’s management.

Roethlisberger currently has a cap hit north of $40MM for 2021, and that isn’t going to stand. The team’s options are limited, and in a recent TV hit Brooke Pryor of ESPN laid out what they are (Twitter video link). Pryor says the team can give Roethlisberger a four-year extension, which would void after 2021 and save the them around $14MM in cap space for this season. The extension would be strictly a technical maneuver to spread cap charges, as those voidable years being tacked on to contracts have become increasingly popular recently.

The other option she lays out is to have Roethlisberger take a massive pay-cut to play for the veteran minimum, which would reduce his 2021 cap charge down to around $23MM. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network seems to think after conversing with a source that voidable years are the likeliest path, even though as he notes it’s something the Steelers don’t often do (Twitter video link).

He thinks the Steelers will give Big Ben a big signing bonus for this season to ensure he still gets paid starting QB money, and then spread that bonus out over several voidable years. Getting lost in all the contract talk is how Roethlisberger will actually look when it comes time to take the field.

Team president Art Rooney II said this week that he’s not too concerned about his actual play, via the team’s official site. “We think Ben played at a high level last year,” Rooney said. “We won our division and set a franchise record for most consecutive wins to open a season, so there was a lot of good stuff.

Rooney even addressed the concerns about Roethlisberger’s physical limitations after the elbow surgery that cost him almost the entire 2019 season. “His arm, I would say, is as strong or almost as strong as ever, so I think he’s certainly capable of getting the job done.” Observers of 2020 Steelers games might disagree, but it’s interesting to here nonetheless. Rooney also said March 17th, the beginning of the new year, is a deadline to get something done, although he hopes it’ll happen before then.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 comments on “Latest On Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger

  1. cbee

    The only reason this is news is the because the Pittsburgh sports media needed something to write about rather the Pirates in Spring training.

  2. padam

    His arm is not “as strong…”. Rooney watching the same games as everyone else?

  3. johnnybadd2019

    Big Ben’s arm is basically a wet noodle right now. He’s done probably should join Eli and Rivers in retirement

    • sch1989

      His arm his fine. It’s his knees that worry me. He doesn’t have the mobility he used to have and wasn’t using his lower body in any of his throws. Basically used all arm after the Dallas game.

  4. arty!

    This is precisely why the Texans can’t trade Watson. Everyone knows Ben is on the decline. But since Pitt doesn’t have other options, they’re forced to deal with Ben for another year. Franchise QB’s are incredibly hard to find.

    Before the ’21 kicks off, I think its fair to say Pitt may be a little over 500, but they won’t go far in the playoffs; if they make it to the dance.

    • dust44

      What does Ben have anything to do with Watson? Yes ur point is it’s hard to find a franchise QB. But it’s also tough to have a winning team when that franchise QB doesn’t want to b there. Sorry but there’s good QBs every draft anymore. And the way the rookie wage scale is set up now u can swing at the fences more then one year now to find a QB. Move a disgruntled guy and find someone who wants to build something there.

      • arty!

        The draft will always be a crap shoot. Heck recently #10 Rosen was traded after 1 year and talk of Tua could be on the move as well. Goff and Wentz, still in their 20’s, moved this offseason. Darnold hasn’t done much in 3 years as well. There are more ordinary QB’s than great ones.

        Look no further than Pitt. All of their SB wins were w/ HoF QB’s.

  5. tedtheodorelogan

    Is there a good reason NFL contracts are this complicated? Why isn’t his cap hit just whatever he is being paid?

    • PeckNcrowe

      That is ludacris. Ben threw 33 touchdown’s to only 10 interceptions and everyone saying he’s garbage. I call B.S Steelers need help on O line and a consistent running back. BTW the only time Winston threw 33 touchdown’s he also threw 30 interceptions. Roethlisberger hall of fame and 2 super bowl rings. Winston the bench.

  6. phillyballers

    What is the point if the salary cap, the way its math is currently constructed if you can put b.s. voidable years onto a contract extension to lower the cap?

    Why not just do a system like each team is alloted X per year for Bonus Payouts, if you go over your taxed at 1.15, 2nd yr 1.25, 3rd yr 1.5 the amount. And then each team is alloted Y base salary per year and same tax structure for going over.

    So if the X limit is 50M per year and you have 40M available you could use it all or roll it.

    And if you cut a guy the guaranteed portion is what’s left in your cap on the bonus or base side. No more June 1, no more voidable contract extensions.

    What they have now is the most convoluted system. You can’t even trade dudes without breaking out a TI-83+ and consulting your calculus professor from college.

    Only 1 site out there even helps Homer’s navigate the cap and that’s overthecap.

    NBA has the trade machine and real gm, but you could figure it out in your own what salaries match up for a trade. And the players salary that year is the actual salary.

  7. forwhomjoshbelltolled

    The Steelers are too classy of an organization, but the Machiavellian move would be to frame Ben for a crime and void the deal.

  8. Jimbobroy

    Most great athletes always wait too long to call it quits and I think that’s Ben’s issue. His mind says yes but the body by the end of the year says no. For all he has meant to the Steelers he probably deserves another year but with this offensive line and cap issues it won’t end well. On top of that it will delay the rebuilding of the offense and waste another year of a really good and getting better defense.

  9. luvthedayankees74

    Before I make my comment on then first of all I would like to say I wouldn’t mind drafting a quarterback and rebuilding and let Ben walk off in the sunset thank you for the great years but then again if y’all watch the season as a 38 year old quarterback you play three games in 12 days and you tell me how your body would feel

  10. RonJohn00

    I respect the steelers for staying loyal to their QB even though he is clearly on the decline. They aren’t in a position to draft a franchise QB to replace him anyway so they might as well strap the team to his back and let him drag them down to a top 5 pick in whatever season ends up being his final one before he retires.

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