4 ways keeping Ben Roethlisberger will hurt the Steelers in the future

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Keeping Ben Roethlisberger might give the Steelers their best chance to compete in 2021, but here’s how it will hurt them in the future. 

This offseason has been so unusual for many reasons, and we are finally seeing an older generation of quarterbacks who have been a staple to the game for so long hang up their hats. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers both retired this offseason, but many teams have been incredibly active in making sure they have an answer at the quarterback position moving forward.

The Colts are the most recent team to trade for their franchise passer, as Carson Wentz was dealt from the Eagles on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, one team that is still in the dark with their quarterback situation is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin both expressed that Ben Roethlisberger cannot return to the team with his current cap hit, and we are still waiting to see if the two sides can get anything figured out.

While I’m not denying that Roethlisberger would likely give this team the best chance of competing for a title in 2021, there are four ways that keeping him around will actually hurt the Steelers in the future:

Steelers future salary cap situation

It’s no surprise by now how the Steelers do business. Fans have to appreciate the fact that the Rooney’s are willing to spend up to the cap ceiling just about every year. However, they also seem to have a one-track mind when it comes to doing business. Colbert and the Rooney’s have always been a team that looks to compete every single year. The problem with doing this, is they often disregard the future repercussions.

The Steelers can’t restructure Roethlisberger without giving him an extension, and this looks to be the only way to keep him around. While Pittsburgh could make this a ‘phony extension’ that could allow Ben to retire in 2021, they would likely try to spread his cap hit out over the next 3-5 years in order to make one final push. This wouldn’t be a lot of money each year, but they would be taking an unnecessary hit for a player who is long gone from the roster.