Art Rooney II: We can’t bring Ben Roethlisberger back at current cap hit

Wild Card Round - Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s return to the Steelers wasn’t a sure thing when the team’s season came to an end against the Browns in the Wild Card round and team president Art Rooney II said on Thursday that it remains an open question.

Rooney told reporters that Roethlisberger has expressed an interest in returning for his 18th season in Pittsburgh and that the team has the same interest. It’s not a done deal because Rooney added that something needs to be done about Roethlisberger’s $41.25 million cap hit before they can move forward.

“I don’t want to go too far down that road because we have a lot of discussions internally and with Ben. Salary cap and Ben’s contract is a big factor in where we go. That’s as much as I can say,” Rooney said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

As PFT pointed out at the end of the Steelers’ season, Roethlisberger is due a $4 million salary and a $15 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2021 league year. That doesn’t leave much relief via a pay cut, so an extension would likely be the simplest way for the Steelers to free up the cap room they’d need to keep the status quo at quarterback.

Such an extension could include dummy years that spread out the cap hit while still making it viable to move on from Roethlisberger after the 2021 season without as much dead money as the $22.25 million they’d swallow by cutting him this year. They’d be on the hook for the same amount if Roethlisberger were to retire.

41 responses to “Art Rooney II: We can’t bring Ben Roethlisberger back at current cap hit

  1. Ben is done. Kicking the can down road another year will only prolong the inevitable. And the Steelers are definitely not winning a SB with him at QB so it’s time to start over.

  2. The NFL was a lot more fun before the salary cap. Players played their entire careers in one place.There were more dynastic teams. You could count on your stars being there year after year.
    The NFL changed when they brought in the salary cap & free agency at the same time. They need to dump the salary cap.

  3. Here’s your warning Roethlisberger. Take a pay cut or get traded to Houston. Or just retire.

  4. Any talk of extending Roethlisberger’s contract is going to anger a lot of Steeler fans.

  5. They need to make a trade for Watson, Wentz, or even Derek Carr. The Steelers are unlikely to find a suitable quarterback in the draft, considering they’re way at the bottom.

  6. He’s not at the level he was when he was a top 5 NFL QB, but he’s still a good quarterback. I’ve seen nothing to this point to suggest he couldn’t play beyond this year. I like the idea of extending him a year or two to spread out the cap hit and have him available in what will hopefully be a more competitive 2022 season with more cap room.

  7. ben needs to go to a team that is drafting their starting quarterback this year and let that guy back up Ben as that guys mentor for a year…
    .
    he should not play for any team that believes they have a chance at the SB.

  8. It’s like ground hog day with this Roethlisberger saga. Rooney needs his butt kicked if he gives this guy another contract extension.

  9. The only way Big Ben can be effective is by quick reads and passing, and we know that that type of offense will work, but eventually it will catch up with you as Washington, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Cleveland showed near the end of the season. He just can’t stand in the pocket with guys flying around him like he used to. Time for Pittsburg to find an alternative.

  10. Haskins to the rescue… oh wait… on second thought… scratch that and give Ben what he wants.

  11. As soon as Big Ben threw that pick six in the Super Bowl against Green Bay and then followed it up minutes later with another pick giving the Packers a short field and another easy touchdown I knew that the Steelers would not even sniff another Super Bowl until both Big Ben and Tomlin were gone. Three playoff wins in the past 10 years proves me right. BTW those playoff wins were against A.J. McCarron, Matt Moore and Alex Smith. With losses against the likes of Blake Bortles and Tim Tebow.

  12. Kicking the can down the road is how they got to this point!!! They signed him for the cheaper years now they should be forced to pay the high priced last couple years too

  13. So at $41 mil are you saying he has 8x the value of Ryan Fitzpatrick? I think not.

  14. Ben is worth twice what they’re paying him. He is the face of the franchise and if his cap hit was 80 million he’d still be worth it.

  15. citizenstrange says:
    January 28, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    As soon as Big Ben threw that pick six in the Super Bowl against Green Bay and then followed it up minutes later with another pick giving the Packers a short field and another easy touchdown I knew that the Steelers would not even sniff another Super Bowl until both Big Ben and Tomlin were gone. Three playoff wins in the past 10 years proves me right. BTW those playoff wins were against A.J. McCarron, Matt Moore and Alex Smith. With losses against the likes of Blake Bortles and Tim Tebow.

    _____________________________________________________________

    The pick six where he got his arm hit? Where he had Mike Wallace for a 93-yard touchdown if not for the contact? How in the world did you get this ridiculous take from that play? You’re just ignoring the fact that they still probably win that Super Bowl if not for Mendenhall’s late fumble. What a joke.

  16. nothingbuttruth says:
    January 28, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    He is not worth too much at this point. It’s time to move on.

    ____________________________________________

    $22 million of that is dead money. His pay for this season is $19 million. He’s certainly worth $19 million when you consider that you have QBs like Wentz, Goff, Garoppolo, Rivers (last year), Cousins, Carr, and Prescott all making more.

    The combination of the two in a year where the salary cap is expected to drop, barring the NFL doing the right thing and agreeing to maintain the same cap as 2020 like the NHL did, is what makes it challenging. I’d extend him a year or two into years where the cap should be much higher after the TV deals come through. I think he’s got at least a couple good years left.

  17. Pittsburg Management got in this out of control mess, now they need to do what is smart. Cut your loss and pay the penalty and start over. Perhaps they need to fired themselves’ that would be a new way of doing things in Pittsburg. Bill

  18. As soon as Big Ben threw that pick six in the Super Bowl against Green Bay and then followed it up minutes later with another pick giving the Packers a short field and another easy touchdown I knew that the Steelers would not even sniff another Super Bowl until both Big Ben and Tomlin were gone. Three playoff wins in the past 10 years proves me right. BTW those playoff wins were against A.J. McCarron, Matt Moore and Alex Smith. With losses against the likes of Blake Bortles and Tim Tebow.

    You have been saying this crap for the last ten years so I guess it’s inevitable you would be right one day. Well don’t get giddy even a squirrel gets a nut once in a while. You are more a Ben hater than a sage.

  19. mackcarrington says:
    January 28, 2021 at 2:45 pm
    The NFL was a lot more fun before the salary cap. Players played their entire careers in one place.There were more dynastic teams. You could count on your stars being there year after year.
    The NFL changed when they brought in the salary cap & free agency at the same time. They need to dump the salary cap.

    Jerry Jones, is that you?

  20. I believe they are going to cut him and either take the cap hit for one year (which really isn’t bad for as long as they have kicked his payday down the road). They may also re-sign him and if they do it would be minus the signing bonus and at a restructured lower short term (2 year) contract. Ben will probably take it because he doesn’t want to learn a new offense and have to play in a different city.

  21. Dwelling in the past isn’t the answer here. Ben was a great Steeler. They paid him a lot of money. He gave fans, including me, many great memories. But it’s time for him to go. If he comes back you just waste one more year of a potentially great defense. It’s time to suffer the cap hit. Let 2021 be the year of the Browns and Ravens. Watch both of them blow their salary cap on qbs that can’t win a super bowl and then reload for another run.

  22. They’re actually in pretty good shape, barring injuries. They lost a couple of key players on defense this past year, and on offense, they had no real running game. Decent running backs are pretty easy to find in the 2nd/3rd rounds. Give Ben a normal Pittsburgh running game, and they’re a top contender next year.

  23. So funny how people say Big Ben is done when he threw for 33 tds and 4000 yds last year. Thats better then most the league. He’s not mobile anymore but definitely not done.

  24. Why can’t teams honor the contract? No one forced them to sign the contract! Right? Isn’t that what PFTers day about players?

  25. Tough point in the process for them. With Burrow, Mayfield and Jackson in the division, they are going to need to change horses at some point unless they want to go full rebuild, which doesn’t seem like their style.

    Unless they nail a lucky shot in the draft, that probably means signing someone from another team to replace Ben. Which could be awkward in a Giants-Manning way.

    They might be Super Bowl favorites if they could land Watson, but Stafford could also be a smart choice. Cheaper than Watson, 6 years younger than Ben, and Ben’s injury history could be a way to make a graceful exit.

    Would be interesting to see if anyone would want to sign Ben. Could be a Romo situation, where circumstances would just work out to keep it from happening.

  26. Ben has looked very much like Dan Marino in his last year. Too old but can’t admit it to himself.

  27. The NFL was a lot more fun before the salary cap. Players played their entire careers in one place.There were more dynastic teams. You could count on your stars being there year after year.
    The NFL changed when they brought in the salary cap & free agency at the same time. They need to dump the salary cap.
    ——————————————-
    If you have a Salary Cap where teams must spend 95% of the Cap, why do you need Free Agency, the players are getting paid anyway

  28. To pay a 41 Million salary /cap hit for Big Ben is foolish. 1/3rd of that Money that can be spent on other 3 key postion players…

    I would sit him down and say you have 2 -3 years at best left…we Give you 25 Million this year… with incentives to make it 28 and it drops down 2 million per year if you don’t make the incentives over the next 2-3 years. Then provide us with the 13 million on 3 other good players this coming season and 16 million extra to spend on 3 -4 players int he next 3 years…

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