(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
As of late, former Jets general manager Mike Tannebaum has been one of Ben Roethlisberger's harshest critics. He has been on record many times saying that the 39-year-old Roethlisberger is the worst quarterback in the AFC North.
Tannenbaum had another blunt statement in regards to Roethlisberger on ESPN today, according to Andrew Filipponi of 93.7 The Fan.
Tannenbaum said Roethlisberger's 2021 contract is "a retirement policy" and that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton will have a better year than Roethlisberger. Newton completed 242 of 368 passes (65.8%) for 2,657 yards and had a horrendous 8-10 touchdown-interception ratio, along with a quarterback rating of 82.9 last year in New England.
It's quite the stretch to say that Newton will have a better year than Roethlisberger in 2021. Even though Roethlisberger's performance wilted late in the season last year, he still completed 399 of 608 passes (65.6%) for 3,803 yards and had a 33-10 touchdown-interception ratio, along with a quarterback rating of 94.1 in 2020.
As far as Tannebaum's "retirement policy" comment in regards to Roethlisberger's contract. Yeah, it's pretty much Roethlisberger's swan song, as his 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 took a $5 million pay cut and will make $14 million in 2021, which saved the team over $15 million in salary-cap space.
The contract that Roethlisberger signed with the Steelers on March 4 includes some phony voidable years, and the deal voids five days after Super Bowl LVI, according to Peter King of NBC Sports. The fact that Roethlisberger's contract voids five days after the Super Bowl indicates that this indeed will be his final season with the Steelers.
So, while Tannenbaum used harsh words to describe Roethlisberger's 2021 contract as a "retirement policy," it most likely will be Roethlisberger's last run. As far as Newton having a better season than Roethlisberger in 2021, I think that's hard to imagine after seeing what Newton displayed in Foxborough in 2020. Tannenbaum also selected quarterback Mark Sanchez at fifth overall for the Jets in the 2009 NFL Draft, so consider the source.