Updated: Mar 8, 2021
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
The Steelers signed Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract on Thursday, and the two-time Super Bowl champion was true to his word and took a $5 million pay cut. He'll make $14 million and save the team more than $15 million in salary-cap space in 2021. 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. The Steelers are now $3.6 million under the cap due to Roethlisberger's contract restructure, according to Overthecap.com.
According to Peter King in his Football Morning In America column, the contract that Roethlisberger signed with the Steelers last week includes some phony voidable years, and the deal voids five days after Super Bowl LVI.
With all things considered, it appears that 2021 will be the swan song for the 39-year-old Roethlisberger and it would be his final year with the Steelers and in the NFL.
King also mentioned in his column that Roethlisberger is fine with his supporting cast in 2021, even though it's unlikely that JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bud Dupree and Alejandro Villanueva will be re-signed by the Steelers due to a lack of cap space.
"He’s very much on-board with the team’s sole off-season focus (even at the expense of losing productive wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster) of revamping the run game after a putrid 3.62-yard average carry last year, worst in the NFL," King wrote. "He understands that’s going to be the emphasis in low-cost free-agency and the draft and with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s playbook. Roethlisberger had to accept a rebuilding of the offensive line, including the retirement of center Maurkice Pouncey, and he did."
King also said a good friend of Roethlisberger told him the future Hall of Famer "is in a great frame of mind" and that he really wanted to come back and take a "legit shot" [at a Super Bowl] this year.