There was a general consensus from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ global fan base that Ben Roethlisberger would return for at least the 2021 season.
Team president Art Rooney II said he wanted Roethlisberger back. Roethlisberger said he wanted to come back.
Rooney said he wanted to figure out how to get Roethlisberger’s $41 million cap hit lowered. Roethlisberger said he didn’t care how much he was paid for next season.
What else is there to discuss?
Well, a lot apparently, and then Maurkice Pouncey retired. This sent a shock wave throughout the organization, and there is no way it hit anyone as hard as it did Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has long said he would play as long as Pouncey is back, and that thought process will be put to the test entering the final year of his current contract.
It was reported the two parties were going to meet at some point this week, but on Friday the they had yet to sit down and discuss the future.
This per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Roethlisberger texted with Pouncey Thursday night and said "I didn’t feel right trying to talk him out of it. I'm still processing him retiring. That’s hard for me." Roethlisberger still has not met with Steelers about what they want to do.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 12, 2021
If the consensus was Roethlisberger would return in 2021, that was also with the thought Pouncey would be back as well. With Pouncey calling it a career, does Roethlisberger now take a different approach to the upcoming season? Does he now second-guess his will and desire to play another year without his center?
These are all questions which haven’t been decided yet, but carry an extreme amount of weight for the organization. If Roethlisberger were to retire, it would save the Steelers salary cap space, but then put them on the search for the next quarterback of the organization.
A lot still to be decided, and not a lot of time. Roethlisberger is due $15 million dollars on March 20th of 2021. Some big decisions await the Steelers, and their offseason hinges on the decisions which are made by Roethlisberger and/or the Steelers.
So stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.