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Steelers Player Ratings Going into Madden 21



NFL players take their Madden ratings very seriously. And so do the people behind the uber-popular football series.

It’s not a stretch to say that there will be a lot of players taking to Twitter when the ratings for Madden 21 comes out in July (pending a coronavirus-caused delay.)

But the initial ratings aren’t the entire story. Since we’re living in a completely connected world, Madden Publisher EA Sports pushes out updates for ratings based on a player’s in-season performance.

With that in mind, we decided to go back and look at how some of the Steelers fared throughout 2019.

David DeCastro -2 (91)

The Steelers’ top rated player in Madden 20 lost two points as the offensive line struggled during the season, ending up at a 91 rating.

Cam Heyward +4 (90)

Heyward had an All-Pro caliber season, which was reflected in Madden giving the defensive lineman a well-deserved point four point jump.

Stephon Tuitt +2 (87)

Despite getting injured in October, Tuitt’s excellent early campaign earned him a two point jump in the ratings.

Maurkice Pouncey +1 (86)

Pouncey wasn’t highly rated by Pro Football Focus, but the NFL considered his 2020 season to be Pro Bowl caliber. Madden gave Pouncey a one point boost.

JuJu Smith-Schuster -2 (86)

Smith-Schuster had his worst season as a pro, hampered by inconsistent quarterback play and a nagging injury. The third-year receiver lost two points throughout the season.

T.J. Watt +4 (86)

Watt came into the season with only an 82 rating but shot up four points by the end of it. Still probably undervalued at 86, the DPOY runner-up will probably get another large boost when Madden 21 debuts.

Minkah Fitzpatrick +5 (85)

Going from the Dolphins to the Steelers was a blessing all-around for the young safety. Fitzpatrick rocketed up the ratings, gaining seven points after an early season drop.

Joe Haden -1 (83)

Haden started the season with an 84 and ended up at 83. No we don’t understand this one either.

Steven Nelson +6 (82)

Nelson island was one of the best cornerbacks in the league last year (6th best according to PFF) and Madden reflected that with a six point boost from his starting rating of 76.

Alejandro Villenaueva -3 (82)

The Steelers offensive line didn’t have a great 2019, with Villenaueva being one of the primary culprits. The UDFA tackle lost three points off his Madden rating as well.

Chris Boswell +13 (82)

Don’t call it a comeback, but Chris Boswell rocketed up the ratings in 2019. After a dismal 2018 which saw his rating drop to just a 69, Boswell bounced back in a big way, making 93.5% of his field goals attempts, 100% of his extra points, and earning 13 points on his Madden ratings.

James Conner -2 (81)

The oft-injured Conner had a disappointing 2019 and was never able to stay healthy. Madden knocked two points off his rating as the season progressed.

Ben Roethlisberger -4 (81)

Roethlisberger struggled versus the Patriots, then was lost for the season. Apparently the Madden ratings people aren’t positive he’ll be able to return to form.

Bud Dupree +7 (80)

Whether it was the effect of playing next to T.J. Watt, or because it was a contract year, Dupree had by far his best season as a Steeler, earning him a franchise tag and seven points in Madden.

Vance McDonald -5 (78)

A promising 2018 was sabotaged by a 2019 filled with injuries and not having Ben Roethlisberger under center. The ratings gurus at Madden were not kind to McDonald, knocking off five points as the season progressed.

Devin Bush +4 (76)

Rookies have famously low ratings and Bush was no exception, only earning a 72 to start the season. Bush was able to earn a four point bump throughout the season and might be in line for another bump in Maden 21.

Diontae Johnson +6 (75)

Johnson had one of the best seasons by a rookie receiver in franchise history and was also the recipient of one of the largest in-season rating bumps on the team.

Other big gainers/losers

  • Benny Snell +3 (72)
  • Nick Vannett -3 (72)
  • Ryan Switzer -3 (71)
  • Matt Feiler +6 (71)
  • Devlin Hodges +7 (59)


Steelers Estimated $3.6m Under Salary Cap after New Contract for Ben Roethlisberger



The Steelers have are salary cap compliant and have an estimated $3.6 million in breathing room after renegotiating the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Thursday, according to contract figures reported by NFL Network, salary cap data from and Steelers Now analysis.

Roethlisberger’s contract, which is technically a five-year deal, but will last only through the 2021 season before being voided will save the team $15.3 million under the 2021 salary cap.

Though the Steelers are finally in the black with regards to the 2021 salary cap, they will still likely need to make additional moves to shore up extra salary cap space. The team will need over $8 million in space to sign its 2021 NFL Draft class, the final two players for the 53-man roster and a practice squad. Only the top 51 contracts count toward the cap in the offseason.

The Steelers’ estimated $3.6 million in cap space is based on a $180 million salary cap, which is based on Steelers Now sources on several national reports. The final salary cap figure for 2021 has not yet been made official.

The team has a three contracts that can be restructured, those of defensive end Stephon Tuitt, kicker Chris Boswell and fullback Derek Watt, that could save the team around another $6 million.

The contracts of guard David DeCastro and cornerbacks Joe Haden and Steven Nelson could also be extended or re-negotiated. All are entering the final season of their contract.

The Steelers have two dozen pending free agents, including starters Tyson Alualu, Zach Banner, Jordan Berry, James Conner, Bud Dupree, Matt Feiler, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Alejandro Villanueva and key reserves Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton. 

Starting center J.C. Hassenauer and backup inside linebackers Marcus Allen and Robert Spillane are exclusive rights free agents. Backup outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi and wide receiver and kick returner Ray-Ray McCloud are restricted free agents.

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Report: Ben Roethlisberger Took $5m Pay Cut, Lowers Cap Hit by $15m



The Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger agreed to a new contract for the 2021 season on Thursday and details of the deal are now being reported.

Roethlisberger agreed to a $5 million pay cut as part of a new contract that will technically run through 2025, with the final four seasons becoming void after 2021. 

Roethlisberger was set to earn $4 million in salary and a $15 million roster bonus for 2021, none of which was guaranteed. Instead, he will earn $1.075 million in salary, with $12.925 million converted to guaranteed signing bonus. That signing bonus will be spread over the initial five years of the contract.

That means that Roethlisberger will count for a total of $25.91 million against the Steelers’ 2021 salary cap, a savings of $15.3 million. The details of Roethlisberger’s contract were first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

After the final four years of Roethlisberger’s contract are voided, the Steelers will have $10.3 million of dead money, which will count against the team’s salary cap in 2022 or will be spread out between 2022 and 2023.

Roethlisberger, 39, had a strong season statistically in 2020, passing for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions, but saw his play slide as the team dropped five of its final six games.

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ all-time leader in passing yards (60,349), touchdowns (396), completions (5,050) and wins (156).

Steelers Now’s Alan Saunders contributed salary cap information and graphic to this report.

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Steelers Sign Ben Roethlisberger to New Contract for 2021



The Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have agreed on a new contract for the 2021 season, the club announced Thursday.

“We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021,” General Manager and Vice President Kevin Colbert said. “We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same – to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”

While exact details of the new deal have yet to be reported, it can be assumed that the two sides came to terms on a significant restructuring to have Roethlisberger’s contract fit under the team’s bloated salary cap for 2021.

Roethlisberger was set to count over $41 million towards the Steelers’ 2021 salary cap obligations prior to Thursday’s announcement.

It is also important to note that the contract is not an extension, but simply a one-year deal to keep Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh for the upcoming 2021 campaign.

“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”

Roethlisberger had a fine season statistically in 2020, passing for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions, but saw his play dip as the team dropped five of six games to close the year.

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ all-time leader in passing yards (60,349), touchdowns (396), completions (5,050) and wins (156).

Roethlisberger turned 39 years old on Tuesday, March 2.

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