4 questions Ben Roethlisberger has to answer before returning to Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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Ben Roethlisberger may yet have some gas left in the tank, but here are four questions he has to face if he wants to return to the Steelers.

As of this writing, it certainly seems like Ben Roethlisberger will be suiting up for another season with the Steelers. Retirement talks quickly died down and it seems as if the aging quarterback wants to have another go at playing in 2021.

While the opinions on his return seem split, there are quite a few questions, to say the least, that need to be asked about his pending return. Here are the four most important questions Roethlisberger has to answer if he wants to come back and play for the Steelers in 2021.

What will his cap hit be?

This is the headline that is already being discussed, as Roethlisberger is set to have a monstrous cap hit of over $41 million dollars, and the team could save $19 million of that by moving on. In a year that will be financially tight for the Steelers, shedding this much money could be the difference in retaining a top free agent or avoiding cutting a valuable player. The team doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter with what they do either, as they can’t restructure his deal like they normally do because he is entering the final year of the contract.

While Roethlisberger has come out and said he would be willing to work on his current deal, that doesn’t mean he will just take a pay cut (that rarely happens in the NFL and for good reason). More than likely, the Steelers will extend him at a reasonable rate, have the years be voidable or easily cuttable, and take as much of his base salary from this year and turn it into a signing bonus. That could save the team around $15 million, but it does push that cap hit forward. No matter what, the Steelers can’t afford to pay him what he is set to earn in 2021.