Steelers setting the stage to part ways with Ben Roethlisberger?
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made it clear that Ben Roethlisberger will have to agree to a restructured contract if he wants to remain with the team next season. Roethlisberger openly said that will not be an issue, but it suddenly sounds like the Steelers are uncertain about bringing him back.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert on Wednesday stopped well short of saying Roethlisberger will be the team’s quarterback in 2021. He told reporters that Big Ben is Pittsburgh’s QB “as we sit here today” but indicated that status could change.
“As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. … He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play,” Colbert said, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “We told him we have to look at this current situation.”
The Steelers are well over the salary cap, and Roethlisberger is set to count for $41.25 million against the cap next season. He knows he can’t remain on the roster at that number, and he has said he wants to rework things to help the team. Still, Colbert hinted that money could be an issue.
First in evaluating Ben's situation, Colbert said, is the finances
"Then we’re making guesstimates as to what we can do to put the best team together for our sake and for Ben’s sake. What kind of team can he anticipate being around him if we decide we can move forward together."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 17, 2021
Colbert added that he is hopeful the Steelers can do “what’s best for the organization and do what’s best for Ben.” Some interpreted that to mean the two sides could be headed for a split.
Roethlisberger passed for 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season despite coming off a significant arm injury. He’ll turn 39 next month. It initially looked like a given that he would be back with the Steelers next season, but a recent decision one of his teammates made could also have an impact on Big Ben’s future.