Steelers open to extending Ben Roethlisberger’s deal beyond 2021

USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract goes through the 2021 season. He turns 40 in March 2022.

But the Steelers are open to committing to Roethlisberger as their quarterback beyond 2021 if he’s healthy and willing.

“Obviously after the season we’ll evaluate his contract situation along with other contract decisions we have to make,’’ Steelers president Art Rooney II told Ed Bouchette of TheAthletic.com. “But if Ben feels like playing longer, and it looks like he’s capable of doing it, certainly that would be a great scenario.”

The problem the Steelers face is Roethlisberger is scheduled to count $41.25 million against the salary cap next season. He counts $24 million this season.

The Steelers could lower Roethlisberger’s 2021 cap number with an extension.

Roethlisberger played only two games last season, injuring his throwing elbow and requiring surgery. The Steelers, though, are convinced after seeing him in training camp that Roethlisberger is as good as new.

“We’re excited what we see from Ben so far in this training camp,’’ Rooney said. “We’re looking forward to what he can do this season. Certainly, his arm strength looks to be as good as it’s ever been. That’s a good sign.”

Roethlisberger enters his 17th season, the longest-tenured player in team history.