The Pittsburgh Steelers have a big time decision awaiting them in the way they handle the future of Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger said after the team’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns he would talk with his family about his future, but if the team would be willing to have him back he would play out the extent of his contract.
Simple enough, however the decision would be huge for the Steelers’ salary cap. If Roethlisberger plays he would count $41 million towards the 2021 salary cap. If the team, or Roethlisberger, decide not to play next season he would save the team around $19 million on the cap.
While most would say this is a no-brainer, it is anything but a simple decision. Sure, if Roethlisberger decides to hang it up it simplifies the situation, but if he wants to play the Steelers have to have him back or force him out.
It isn’t as if the Steelers haven’t done this with superstars before, just ask Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu.
Saturday, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network is reporting there is growing optimism within the Steelers organization that Roethlisberger will be back in black and gold for one more season in 2021.
“There is optimism within the organization that Big Ben will be back in 2021, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Saturday. Coach Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week that a Roethlisberger return is welcome. It would involve a new offensive coordinator, as the team already parted ways with longtime assistant Randy Fichtner.
Part of the discussion moving forward will likely involve Roethlisberger’s contract. He’s in the books for one more year at $19 million, which is hardly burdensome. But his cap hit is a whopping $41 million. Seventeen years into their marriage, Big Ben and the Steelers shouldn’t have issues alleviating that figure, Garafolo noted.”
Garafolo further explained himself on the show Good Morning Football, and you can watch that clip below:
From @gmfb Weekend on optimism Ben Roethlisberger will be back with the #Steelers in 2021. pic.twitter.com/oJY9XaA8Th— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 16, 2021
Steelers fans around the globe would love to know the future of the quarterback situation sooner, rather than later, but it doesn’t look as if that will be the case. Expect many more of these reports to circulate between now and a final decision being made by the Steelers, or Roethlisberger.
In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they prepare for a critical offseason in the team’s illustrious history.