Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger usually takes his time deciding whether he wants to keep playing every offseason. This time around, however, he may not have a team to which he can return.
The Steelers are facing a difficult cap situation, and Roethlisberger's $41 million cap hit is a big part of the issue. While you might normally assume the team will do whatever it takes to keep Roethlisberger around, that may not be the case, according to Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.
Colbert said Wednesday the Steelers would "have to look at this situation."
#Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says that in meetings w/ him, owner Art Rooney and coach Mike Tomlin, QB Ben Roethlisberger “reiterated… he wants to continue to play… We told him quite frankly, we have to look at this situation.”
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) February 17, 2021
Colbert added that "some adjustments have to be made" to bring Roethlisberger back.
Kevin Colbert on Ben Roethlisberger: With Ben's current cap number, some adjustments will have to be made. Hopefully there's a way we can figure out what's best for the organization. Hopefully he can see that and feel the same way. There's a lot of work to be done."
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 17, 2021
That last part, in which Colbert mentions "hopefully [Roethlisberger] can see that and feel the same way," suggests Colbert is hoping Roethlisberger is willing to restructure his deal to save the Steelers some cap space.
Would Steelers actually part ways with Ben Roethlisberger?
If Roethlisberger is unwilling to renegotiate his deal, that could lead to an awkward situation. The team can look to trade Roethlisberger to save on cap space, or it could cut Roethlisberger, which would help the cap situation.
The chances of that happening are small, however, as Roethlisberger said he was open to restructuring his deal. Roethlisberger actually took things a step further, saying he didn't care how much money he makes in 2021.
Ben Roethlisberger just told me: "I don't care bout my pay at all this year!" And is willing to restructure a contract that has a $41 million cap hit for 2021 that includes $19 million in bonus and salary that can be restructured.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 28, 2021
If that's true, then pencil in Roethlisberger as the Steelers' starter next season.
Colbert wasn't wrong to point out how Roethlisberger's cap issue impacts the team, but there's no reason for fans to freak out about Roethlisberger's future yet. It certainly sounds like he wants to make it work.
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