(Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert spoke with members of the Pittsburgh media on Wednesday and the big topic for the almost 30-minute interview was whether the soon-to-be 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger will return for an 18th season with the team.
"As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Colbert said via Bob Labriola of Steelers.com. "He met with Art Rooney II, he met with Coach Tomlin, he met with me shortly after the season ended. He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play, and we told him quite frankly we have to look at this current situation. Art addressed that with Ben's current cap number, some adjustments will have to be made. And we aren't negotiating as we sit here (today) to answer this question. Ben Roethlisberger is on the team. Ben Roethlisberger did a lot of really good things last year, and we anticipate he could still do some good things moving forward."
The Steelers' salary cap situation is dire as they're projected to be around $22 million over the cap and are most likely to lose JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bud Dupree and Alejandro Villanueva in free agency. Vance McDonald and Maurkice Pouncey have retired. Randy Fichtner is gone and Matt Canada is the new offensive coordinator. The 2021 Steelers' team will look drastically different from the previous year and Roethlisberger will have to decide if he wants to play another year surrounded by so much change.
"Hopefully, there is a way we could try and figure out how to do what's best for the organization and how to do what's best for Ben," Colbert said. "And hopefully, he will be able to do that and feel the same way we do. But there's a lot of work that needs to be done. Not only with Ben, but just with the whole unrestricted free agent class and our whole cap situation as well."