5 difficult decisions the Steelers must make in the 2021 offseason
The Steelers are going to have their work cut out for them this coming offseason. Here are five difficult decisions they must make.
Every year, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert somehow finds a way to make things work; whether that means balancing the salary cap, signing bargain free agents, or making the tough decision to release players who were once very good. This year, however, he’s really got his work cut out for him.
Pittsburgh is going to be in a bad way financially, as the cap is expected to drop to roughly $176 million, according to Over the Cap. This would mean that the Steelers would already be over $20 million over the cap with just 36 players under contract next season.
This isn’t a situation any team wants to find themselves in, and the Steelers will have some incredibly tough choices to make next year. Here are my predictions as to what they will do:
Extension for Ben Roethlisberger
The Steelers are sure glad to have their franchise quarterback in 2020 – even if it is only for one last hurrah. While Ben Roethlisberger is still under contract for the 2021 season, this could be Pittsburgh’s last real shot at winning the Super Bowl with him – especially considering the way things are shaping up financially.
While the Steelers could allow Ben to play out the last year of his contract and retire at nearly 40 years old in the 2022 offseason, there is also the option of extending the contract of the seasoned veteran. There are positives and negatives to gain with both. Roethlisberger would get more time with Pittsburgh, but his play could drop off and they could be eating more dead money when he is gone.
Prediction: An extension gets done
While I would be hesitant to give Roethlisberger one final deal (especially with how scripted and limited the offense has been), I believe the Steelers will attempt to get this done. Big Ben is obviously a huge improvement from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges last year, and Pittsburgh knows that he currently gives them the best shot.