While this could be considered good news for the rest of the AFC North, Ben Roethlisberger will be back with the Pittsburgh Steelers for at least one more season.
On Thursday, Roethlisberger and the Steelers agreed to a new contract that will keep him in the Steel City for the 2021 season.
Ben Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14M from $19M in this final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022, per source. It lowered the cap hit by over $15M, all so the team can make the right moves to be as competitive as possible this season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 4, 2021
Roethlisberger was previously under contract for the 2021 season with a $41.2 million cap hit, which the team simply could not afford if they want to re-sign some of their key free agents while pursuing others.
Now 39 years old, this may very well be the final year of Roethlisberger’s career, as it was painfully clear (or pleasantly if you’re anyone else in the AFC North) that he’s near the end. After a strong start to the 2020 season, Roethlisberger threw just 13 touchdowns vs. nine interceptions over his last six games, including a four-TD, four-INT outing in Pittsburgh’s Wild Card loss to the Browns. The Steelers also lost four of the last five games in which he started.
While Roethlisberger may have little left in the tank, there’s no question he was Pittsburgh’s best option going into next season. Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs aren’t cutting it, and the Steelers don’t have enough cap space to pursue even a decent starter in free agency.
After the way he was outdueled by Ryan Finley in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-17 win over Pittsburgh in Week 15, I’m sure many in the Queen City are excited about getting another chance to take down Big Ben and the Steelers next season.
Let’s get it on.