Kevin Colbert, the Pittsburgh Steelers' general manager, is not sure if Ben Roethlisberger will be back with the team in 2021. Roethlisberger has made it clear he wants to return next fall, but Colbert may have other plans. When speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Colbert didn't commit to Roethlisberger's future despite being asked about it multiple times.
"We told him quite frankly, we have to look at this situation," Colbert said, as reported by NFL.com. Colbert told Roethlisberger this when he had meetings with the Steelers quarterback as well as coach Mike Tomlin and owner Art Rooney. Roethlisberger has one more year remaining on his contract and is due to count $41.25 million against the team's salary cap, which means the team will have to decide on him soon as the 2021 league year will start one month from Wednesday.
"As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Colbert said, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN. "He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play. We told him we have to look at this current situation."
If the Steelers were to cut Roethlisberger, he would count $22.5 million against the team's salary cap. The most likely situation is the Steelers restructure Roethlisberger's contract to free up cap space and keep their veteran quarterback. In 2020, Roethlisberger had a solid season, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,893 yards and 33 touchdowns while leading the Steelers to an 11-5 record and NFC North title.
"Ben Roethlisberger did a lot of really good things last year," Colbert said. "We anticipate that he could still do really good things going forward. Hopefully, we can figure out how to do what's best for the organization and for Ben. Hopefully, he'll be able to see that."
Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers since 2004 after being drafted by the team in the first round from Maimi (Ohio). In his 17 seasons, Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to eight AFC North titles, five AFC Championships appearances and two Super Bowls wins. The 38-year-old was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004 and has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times. He also led the NFL in passing yards twice (2016, 2018).