PITTSBURGH — For the first time in his long NFL career, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be entering the final season of contract, as his re-worked deal with the Steelers will automatically void after the 2021 season.
That’s led to natural speculation that the 2021 season could be the last for the 39-year-old passer, but Roethlisberger has avoided discussing his future, and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has, as well.
“2021 is all we’re worried about with Ben,” Colbert said in his training camp availability with the local media, while emphasizing that it was Roethlisberger’s selflessness in taking a restructured contract and a $5 million pay cut to remain with the team that ben allowed him to be with the club this long.
“To go back on what he did for us back in the spring by taking a restructuring of his contract, it was done with really two purposes,” Colbert said. “The first was allowing him to be here with us, then also allowing us to do some things financially and cap-wise that we wouldn’t have been able to do without that restructuring. So it was a very unselfish move on his part. It made him available for 2021. Beyond that, none of us know. We’ll just work with 2021 and see where it goes from there.”
Roethlisberger will count for $25.9 million toward the Steelers’ 2021 salary cap and have a dead cap hit of $10.3 million in 2022, regardless of whether or not he returns to the team.
The Steelers have just one quarterback under contract for 2022, backup Mason Rudolph. Third-stringer Dwayne Haskins will be a restricted free agent while Roethlisberger and Joshua Dobbs will be unrestricted.