Steelers Salary Cap Impacts of Ben Roethlisberger’s Retirement
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement on Thursday was far from unexpected, with the longtime Pittsburgh passer announcing ahead of time that the 2021 season would likely be his last.
Roethlisberger’s contract is also set to automatically void after the 2021 season, so his retirement should not have a significant impact on the Steelers’ salary cap situation going forward.
Roethlisberger signed a five-year, $14 million contract with the Steelers before the 2021 season that paid him $1.075 million in salary and a $12.925 million signing bonus, spread out over five seasons at $2.585 million per year.
RELATED: Ben Roethlisberger retires as the third-highest paid player in NFL history.
With the contract automatically voiding, the final four years, or $10.34 million, will land on the Steelers’ ledger for the 2022 season.
That is, unless the contract doesn’t void until after June 1. If that’s the case, the charge would be another $2.585, plus the minimum veteran salary, for 2022 and $7.755 for 2023. The timing of Roethlisberger’s announcement on Thursday has no bearing with regard to his contract.
Roethlisberger already received all of that money as part of his bonus when he signed the contract, so the decision won’t impact him at all. All that remains is the salary cap mechanics.
The Steelers do have some cap space this offseason and are not in the type of crunch they have been in recent seasons, but with the cap expected to expand again for 2023 after reaching the maximum $25.7 million increase for the 2022 season, it may be worth it to push that extra money into the future, where it will take up a smaller percentage of the team’s overall cap figure.
At the end of the day, Roethlisberger’s retirement was an anticipated move, and should not have any negative salary cap consequences for the Steelers, while also providing a potential to shift some money into the future if they wish to.