Ben Roethlisberger’s agent confirmed to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala that the Steelers do want to bring the quarterback back for the upcoming 2021 season, and conversations will happen about contract restructuring.
“They want Ben back and will contact me soon to address his cap situation,” Ryan Tollner told Kinkhabwala. “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 8th 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 news comes after Roethlisberger and Steelers President Art Rooney II met earlier on Tuesday, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
However, less than a week ago, general manager Kevin Colbert did not commit to bringing back Roethlisberger next season.
“As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Colbert said. “…He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play. We told him we have to look at this current situation.”
Pittsburgh had made it clear that the quarterback would not be returning without a restructured contract, which Roethlisberger said he was willing to re-do. While Colbert did not entirely shut the door on the 38-year-old’s return at the time, it’s clear that Roethlisberger will have to take a massive pay cut.
Under his current contract, he has a $41.25 million cap hit for the 2021 season. Pittsburgh is approximately $30 million over the cap. Roethlisberger has a $15 million roster bonus on the horizon that would be paid if he’s still on the team by March 19.
Only time will tell whether the cap-strapped franchise and Roethlisberger can strike a deal, but all signs are pointing towards one in the coming days.