Ben Roethlisberger’s agent says Steelers want the quarterback to return

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers
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Steelers team president Art Rooney II met with Ben Roethlisberger on Tuesday. The meeting went well, according to a report afterward.

Apparently, the meaning of “the meeting went well” is both sides have agreed to give it another go.

Ryan Tollner, the quarterback’s agent, told Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network that the Steelers “want Ben back and will contact me soon to address his cap situation. As we’ve shared since the season ended, we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible. A year ago, Ben wasn’t sure if he could throw again, but he battled back to get 12 wins and the eighth division title of his career. They lost steam down the stretch and that doesn’t sit well for him, so the fire burns strong, and there is plenty of gas in the tank.”

The Steelers will have to rework Roethlisberger’s contract, which calls for a whooping $41.25 million salary cap hit for 2021. Roethlisberger already said he is willing to work with the team to make it work, which means a pay cut of some sort.

The Steelers created doubt about whether they wanted Roethlisberger to return last week. General Manager Kevin Colbert was noncommittal about Roethlisberger playing an 18th season with the team.

Roethlisberger, who turns 39 next month, remains the team’s best option at the position despite his age and his dropoff late last season. In the final five regular-season games he played, Roethlisberger threw nine touchdowns and had six turnovers as the Steelers went only 2-3.

Roethlisberger then threw four touchdowns and four interceptions in the wild-card playoff loss to the Browns.

But Roethlisberger’s return prevents the Steelers from hunting for a starting quarterback this offseason when they are up against the cap or from handing the reins to Mason Rudolph, who is 5-4 in his career as a starter.

24 responses to “Ben Roethlisberger’s agent says Steelers want the quarterback to return

  1. Theres still the same doubt there was last week. When has agent talk ever been held as the truth and not an angle until something is actually agreed upon?

  2. Was the firing burning being down 28-0 and you just sat on the sideline by yourself, slouched with your hands in your hand warmer. Your demeanor spoke volumes Ben being down 28-0. Yea you started to look like a QB again when the Browns went into prevent defence for 3 quarters

  3. The way he played the last third of the season, it is hard to believe the Steelers – or any other team for that matter – want him playing QB for them in 2021.

  4. Well they can’t take the cap hit, the backups are no good, and he wants to play. Not a hard decision to spread out cap hit, and get better options for the future.

  5. The fire burns strong for the guy who never puts in the time in the off season to stay fit and keep his skills on point. He’s staying because of the cap hit whether he retures or not. Steelers front office put themselves in a lose-lose situation for not moving off him sooner.

  6. I still think it would be the smart move to get a 1st round QB this off season. Don’t wait until next year.

  7. When you pay 40 mil to someone who got smoked by the Browns, Blake Bortles and Tim Tebow , and has 3 playoffs wins in the last decade, (and one of those the Bengals gave you), your team has no hope.

  8. According to Florio and Simms, the Steelers could save a few bucks and just go with Cam Newton.

  9. He had no running game and two probowlers on defense out for the season and still won the AFC North. What does that say for the rest of the division?

  10. streetyson says:
    February 23, 2021 at 7:19 pm
    Definitely one of the QBs worse than Cam in 2021.


    Try again homer.

  11. touchback6 says:
    February 23, 2021 at 7:45 pm
    love it!!


    Pats could use him. Hell, they can use Gino Toretta now.

  12. If he gets in great shape they improve the line and get some better RBs, the Steelers can compete. They won’t sniff a SB, but they’ll be competitive.

  13. But Roethlisberger’s return prevents the Steelers from hunting for a starting quarterback this offseason when they are up against the cap or from handing the reins to Mason Rudolph, who is 5-4 in his career as a starter.


    The Steelers shouldn’t have been hunting for a QB this offseason in FA, anyhow — they have no cap space for it — so Ben didn’t prevent them from that. Whether Ben stays or goes, the goal should be to draft a guy and start from scratch at QB.

    For 2021, I could argue for Rudolph (one last attempt to kick the tires to see if he’s grown; if not, draft a guy in 2022) or Ben (swansong before going out on his own terms). I personally would’ve rather it been Rudolph from a practical perspective, but the outcome isn’t going to matter either way.

  14. It’s not a pay cut! (I feel like Arnold in Kindergarten Cop yelling “It’s not a tumor!”). $26 million of the $41M has already been paid (for all the capologists yelling that he’s not worth $41M a year- of course he isn’t, but that’s pro-rated signing bonus not the pay for this year). The pay specifically for this year is $19M. The logical route is to turn all of that except the vet minimum into a signing bonus for a 5 year extension with 4 voidable years. Frees up $14M in cap this year and Ben neither gains nor loses a cent. It just adds $14M in 2022 dead money (assuming this is his last year) instead of taking the full hit this year.

  15. Ben is due a $15M bonus in March, and probably gets a small salary for the season. Maybe they could do a deal for guaranteed comp in the range of $10-12M (which is low but gives the Steelers flexibility to help other parts of the roster) and extend the contract over several years, but give Ben some huge contingent incentives like winning MVP, winning Super Bowl, etc. One more year, one more chance.

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