Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger officially adjust contract to stay with team in 2021
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially found a way to keep Ben Roethlisberger for the 2021 season. Here’s what we know so far.
After two months of waiting, we finally have an official decision by the Pittsburgh Steelers when it comes to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his future with the team. Though it took nearly until the new league year, the Steelers made it official that they have worked out the details and that Ben will be returning for the 2021 season.
Teresa Varley of Steelers.com made this news official; however, many of these details are still very much unclear as of Thursday afternoon. Still, general manager Kevin Colbert seems to be very excited about his move. Here is his statement, according to Varley’s article on the team’s website:
"“We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021. We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same – to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”"
Ben Roethlisberger clearly wasn’t willing to hang up his cleats just yet either, and he had made it well known all offseason that this wasn’t the end for him. He was thrilled that the Steelers decided to give him at least one more year. Here’s what the now 18-year veteran had to say after restructuring his deal with the organization:
"“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization. I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”"
Despite claims that he and Maurkice Pouncey were going to call it quits together, Big Ben clearly wanted a shot at redemption after an embarrassing end to the 2020 season in which the Steelers quarterback threw four interceptions in the blowout playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns. After scoring just 19.6 points per contest over the final six games of the regular season, Roethlisberger will attempt to fix what went wrong last time around.
What does this mean for the Steelers?
While the details of the restructuring are not yet known, we can narrow this down to one of two things: Either Roethlisberger did indeed take a pay cut stick around in 2021 or the Steelers extended his contract to spread out his $19 million cap hit over the next several seasons – likely with voidable years attached.
Obviously, we hope the former is what occurred, but Ed Bouchette of The Athletic stated that Ben would not be willing to take an actual ‘pay cut’ as he had made fans believe. Rather, he meant that he didn’t need all of the money now and that he would be open to an extension.
Regardless of your opinion on this matter, one thing is for sure: Ben Roethlisberger is coming back for the 2021 season. All we can do at this point is hope that the Steelers made the right decision and that this won’t come back to bite them in the future.