The Steelers are receiving a lot of mixed reviews in regards to their signing of Ben Roethlisberger.
Ben Roethlisberger had been a huge topic of discussion for Steelers fans and analysts alike as soon as Pittsburgh’s season ended. I personally believe the Steelers made the correct choice in restructuring and locking down Big Ben for the 2021 season and beyond.
Ben’s new contract will likely have a better effect on their cap room long term than a simple release would.
Ben had said early on that he wanted to play football again for at least 2021. If Ben wasn’t willing to retire the Steelers would be faced with two choices: 1st they could release him and deal with 22 million in dead cap or they could find a way to restructure his contract using an extension.
Ben decided to take a $5 million pay cut while converting as much money as possible into a signing bonus. This means that the Steelers can spread the new cap hit over the length of the whole contract. Pittsburgh had also added 4 voidable years on his contract to spread the new cap hit out.
With this new contract, the $12.85 million in salary cap for the extension can be spread throughout all 5 years of the new contract. This means his cap hit for 2022 if he chose to play would be around $3 million. The Steelers had a cap hit of $40 million for Ben guaranteed in 2021 had his contract stayed the same, but now in 2021, he will count for around $25 million.
Ben has been hot and cold contemplating retirement for the last few seasons. He reportedly felt great throwing this year for the first time in a while and if the Steelers play well in 2021 Ben will want to come back. He would do so at a $3 million cap hit in 2022. The only way this contract doesn’t look amazing is if Ben retires after 2021 or is released. The rest of the cap hit that would’ve been spread out would turn into roughly $10 million in dead cap for 2022.