Ben Roethlisberger‘s NFL career may be coming to a close, but his contract will live on with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the next four years. The cap hit in 2022 is by far the most significant, totaling more than $10 million, but the Steelers are able to push some of that money into 2023 and beyond. Thanks to ‘Over The Cap’ we know the exact numbers the Steelers would be able to save simply by waiting to make Ben Roethlisberger‘s retirement official.
Once Roethlisberger makes it official I would expect the #Steelers to rework his contract for salary cap purposes. They can lower his cap number from $10.34M to $3.705M and defer $7.75M to 2023 by having him wait until June to officially retire.— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) January 18, 2022
Now this all looks great on paper, however this will still be a difficult decision for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sure, the Steelers can save $7 million on the 2022 total cap hit, but if they choose not to do anything and keep the cap hit the way it is they can get this huge number out of the way in one year. The Steelers are somewhat famous for kicking contract hits down the road in a way to remain salary cap compliant, but they haven’t necessarily always lived by this model.
Back when the Pittsburgh Steelers were forced into trading away Antonio Brown, they had options to push some of his dollars into future years. But in that situation the Steelers decided to eat that money in the 2018 season instead of having to deal with the extra money in 2019 and beyond. If the Pittsburgh Steelers feel like they need to create extra cap room this would certainly be an easy way to go about it. However, the Steelers already have more than $44 million in space and can easily create another $10-20 million by releasing a handful of players and restructuring a couple contracts.
This was always going to be an interesting off-season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and by the start of free agency they could have the most cap space they have ever had in an offseason to date. Decisions like the ones with Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract could show whether or not the Steelers think they can be true contender this year, or not. We could see the Steelers not release anyone, or restructure any deals, because they already have the cap space to just eat all of their current contracts and still fill out the roster. With so many decisions to make this will be one of the busiest years in Steelers offseason history, and I really couldn’t be more excited for it.
But what do you think? Should the Pittsburgh Steelers push the extra $7 million from Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract into the future? Or should they just eat it in 2022 and get it over with? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.