When the Steelers season came to an end with January’s playoff loss to the Browns, it was unclear if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be back for the 2021 season.
Roethlisberger was set to have a cap number of more than $41 million and the team made it clear that number had to go down in order for the quarterback to remain with the team for an 18th season. That deal came together in March and Roethlisberger took a $5 million pay cut while the team added voidable years to the contract to bring the cap hit down by a total of $15 million.
During a Monday press conference, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert thanked Roethlisberger for agreeing to that deal and said that it set the tone for the rest of the offseason.
“It’s very much appreciated and I think it started a real positive offseason for us,” Colbert said.
Colbert said he thinks Roethlisberger’s decision helped influence the return of players like defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, and linebacker Vince Williams. Head coach Mike Tomlin said the continuity for a team that opened last season with 11 straight wins “really makes you excited about this group.”