4 moves to help Steelers keep a winning roster around QB Ben Roethlisberger

Joe Haden #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Joe Haden #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers will have Ben Roethlisberger returning in 2021. Here are some moves that can help them keep a competitive roster for the upcoming season.

Now that the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger have finally agreed to terms on a new extension, we can start to look ahead at some other moves that can help Pittsburgh compete one last time with the future Hall of Fame quarterback under center. Big Ben did, in fact, take a $5 million pay cut to stick around, and the vast majority of his previous 2020 base salary will be spread into future years.

Because of this, the Steelers are now completely out of financial debt with $3.6 million to spare, according to Over the Cap. Unfortunately, this will hardly be enough to retain any of the 19 free agents currently set to hit the open market. Here are four things Pittsburgh must do in order to keep their roster as competitive as possible for the upcoming season:

Extend David DeCastro

For the long-term, I’m not a big fan of this move. David DeCastro was very underwhelming last season, and some would argue that he was even outplayed by rookie fourth-round pick, Kevin Dotson. We hope that his lackluster performance was due to his lingering knee issue, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Either way, DeCastro has an unreasonable $14.3 million cap number in 2021, and the Steelers will need to do something to bring this down. Cutting him seems like a bit of a stretch, as this would just add another need to fill this offseason. Though DeCastro is now in his 30s, an extension may be the best option for a team looking to win now with their 39-year-old quarterback. This could allow Pittsburgh to move a large portion of his salary into the future and save the team money in 2021. It’s a gamble, but there aren’t a ton of options here. We obviously hope DeCastro returns to Pro Bowl form next season.