(Editor’s Note: Due to the back end of the website being down, this story was late to publish. Our sincerest apologies. We know many of you turn to BTSC for the latest, and fastest, news surrounding the Steelers.)
The Pittsburgh Steelers were staring at a difficult decision since the 2020 season began. That difficult situation was Ben Roethlisberger’s large salary cap hit for the 2021 season. 2021 was the final year of Roethlisberger’s current contract, but with the salary cap shrinking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no way the Steelers could have Roethlisberger take up $41 million of their entire cap.
Fans knew a new contract was coming for Roethlisberger, it was just a matter of time. After Art Rooney II, Kevin Colbert, Ryan Tollner and Roethlisberger himself all said they wanted to get a deal done, a deal has finally been reached.
According to the Steelers’ official Twitter page, the two sides have come to terms on a new contract.
We have signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for 2021.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 4, 2021
What does his new contract look like? According to multiple sources, the contract is unique in how it saves the Steelers nearly $15 million dollars in 2021.
This per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network:
#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's new contract for 2021 utilizes a signing bonus, minimum base salary and voidable years to free up about $15 million of cap space, per source. Big Ben takes a $5M paycut, from $19M to $14M, giving the team much-needed breathing room.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 4, 2021
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the contract, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network:
The breakdown:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2021
— $12.925M signing bonus.
— $1.075M base salary
— 4 voidable years to spread out the cap hit (technically a deal through 2025), voiding after the season.
So, 1 year, $14M with a greatly reduced cap hit. https://t.co/sFMQteqOQp
This is what General Manger Kevin Colbert told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com about Roethlisberger returning to the team in 2021:
“We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021,” said Colbert. “We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same – to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”
Roethlisberger himself gave a quote after signing this new contract on Thursday.
“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” said Roethlisberger. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”
Roethlisberger came through when he said he was willing to take a pay cut to return and play on a competitive team in 2021. His new deal give the Steelers some significant salary cap relief to the organization as the new league year is set to begin on March 17.
What will the team do with this space? They are likely to free up even more in the coming days to make the potential buyers in free agency coming up.
In the meantime, 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.