The Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is hurting. After their Wild Card loss in the AFC Playoffs to the Cleveland Browns, and losing 5 of their last 6 games overall, fans want change. Many are calling for Mike Tomlin to be shown the door, while others were satiated with the dismissal of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner.
But some want more.
Some want to see franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to hang it up for good.
To be completely honest here, there are multiple reasons for the fans to want to see Roethlisberger be done, compared to the alternative.
The obvious answer would be Roethlisberger’s play down the stretch, and especially in the playoff loss at Heinz Field. His 4 interception day resonates in the brain of every black and gold fan across the globe. Sure he threw for over 500 yards and 4 touchdowns, but those 4 picks were what turned the tide in the Browns’ favor.
The other reason fans wanting Roethlisberger to call it quits would be the salary cap hit he is due to receive in 2021. If he decides to play, and the Steelers want him back, Roethlisberger would count $41 million towards the 2021 salary cap. Let’s just say the cap drops to the floor set forth by the NFL and NFLPA this season, $175 million. In this situation, just look at the chuck of cap space Roethlisberger’s $41 million would take up in that scenario. If the Steelers were to cut ties with Roethlisberger, or he retires, the cap hit would be roughly $20 million. Quite the savings.
The final reason fans might want to move on from Roethlisberger is the fact the writing is on the wall the team is needing a change. Roethlisberger might not be the main problem, but for a team that is looking to reinvent themselves, you have to wonder when that could happen with Roethlisberger at the helm.
So, what does this all add up to? It adds up to the fact fans who participate in the SB Nation Fan Reacts surveys every week want Roethlisberger gone, and it wasn’t even close.
Just take a look at the graph below from fans who were polled prior to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs:
Reports are already circulating stating Roethlisberger plans on returning for the final year of his current contract, and if these reports are true it would take a pretty big rift between Roethlisberger, the organization or Matt Canada, who is reportedly the new offensive coordinator, to derail his plans.
In other words, it looks like Roethlisberger will be back in 2021 barring something unforeseen. Will fans be happy about it? If he plays well in 2021 there won’t be any complaining, but right now fans want to see the organization move on from the Roethlisberger era.
What do you think? Would you be happy with Roethlisberger retiring? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 offseason.