Bleacher Report says restructuring Ben's contract was Steelers smartest decision in offseason so far
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For about two weeks that stretched from February to early March, the discussion on whether the Steelers should bring back Ben Roethlisberger for an 18th season was a hot topic among the national media and in Pittsburgh.
After discussions with the Steelers brass in Art Rooney II, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin, the Steelers decided to run it back with Roethlisberger for another year.
Roethlisberger was true to his word and took a $5 million pay cut. He'll make $14 million this year and he saved the team more than $15 million in salary-cap space. The new deal includes a $12.925 million signing bonus, a $1.075 million base salary and four voidable years to push a $10.36 million cap hit into 2022.
Roethlisberger's deal voids five days after Super Bowl LVI, so it appears that 2021 will be the swan song for the 39-year-old gunslinger.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report released an article today on every NFL team's smartest offseason decision so far, and Knox had the Steelers restructuring Roethlisberger's contract as their wisest decision.
Below is a summary of what Knox said about the Steelers' decision to bring back the two-time Super Bowl champion for another season.
"Roethlisberger was set to carry a cap hit of $41.2 million. Under the restructuring, he will carry a hit of just $25.9 million. The deal includes four years that will void after the 2021 season, meaning there's a good chance that this will be Big Ben's final year with the franchise.
It would behoove the Steelers to strongly consider finding his successor now. They did take a flier on Dwayne Haskins Jr., but this year's draft class should also be evaluated.
Roethlisberger's new deal ensures Pittsburgh will at least have a proven starter while finding/developing its quarterback of the future. It also helps the Steelers manage the reduced salary cap—though they still have less than $2 million in space."
Even though Roethlisberger looked old and tired down the stretch last season, he is still the Steelers' best option by far to win this year. The alternative was Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins as the starting quarterback. Yeah, that's clearly not the answer. I agree with Knox that the Steelers have to look toward the future in regards to the quarterback position, but I see the Steelers addressing that next year in the draft. This year they have to get Roethlisberger an elite running back and top-tier offensive lineman through the draft. They have to go all-in this season with it presumably being Roethlisberger's last hurrah.