5 roster moves that could instantly save the Steelers $45 million

Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Cut Ben Roethlisberger

Disagree with me if you will, but there is no way on earth you can justify Ben Roethlisberger as the highest-paid player in the league next year. According to Over the Cap, Big Ben will cost the Steelers $41.25 million against the cap in 2021 – an astronomical number that counts for more than one-fifth of Pittsburgh’s total cap space next season.

Though Roethlisberger had an impressive 3-1 touchdown to interception ratio this season, advanced analytics from PlayerProfiler.com revealed just how inefficient he was – particularly in the red zone and when throwing the ball down the field.

Earlier in the season, an extension for Ben seemed eminent. However, there is no way Pittsburgh could justify that with how poorly he played over the last seven games of the season and into the playoffs. While the Steelers would have $22.25 million in dead money with his release, they would still save a whopping $19 million this year that they can throw back into paying another bridge quarterback. It has been rumored that the Steelers are going to let Ben play out his contract, but with all of the changes this year, Roethlisberger really shouldn’t be returning.

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It’s unlikely that Pittsburgh makes all five of these cuts, as they always have a ‘win now’ mentality. Still, parting ways with these five players could save the team just over $45 million in 2021 and would allow them to begin a true rebuild – something that is inevitably just around the corner.