Ben Roethlisberger agrees to new deal with Steelers for 2021 season

Ben Roethlisberger’s financial future has been solved for 2021.

The Steelers announced Thursday they have signed the veteran quarterback to a new contract for the upcoming season.

“We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement released by the team. “We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same — to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”

As is customary, the Steelers did not release details of the contract, so we’re forced to attempt to read between the lines for now on what this might mean. First, it means Pittsburgh has the position figured out for this season, which we knew was the case once Roethlisberger and the team bridged their gap and announced they were willing to work out a creative restructure to his current deal, which was set to account for an exorbitant cap hit of $41.25 million in 2021. This just makes that official and advances his storyline one step further.

“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said in the same statement. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”

The contract details are important, though, because Pittsburgh was in a bit of a hole when it came to cap space, and all one needed to do to find an easy scapegoat was turn to the sage elder wearing No. 7.

There were a few different avenues the Steelers could take in attempting to restructure his deal to make it fit under the lowered 2021 cap, with most involving a kicking of the financial can down the road beyond the length of Big Ben’s actual contract. Term, then, is irrelevant, seeing as his existing deal expired after 2021 anyway, so there’s little to glean from the specific reference to 2021.

We know the future beyond this upcoming season is murky for the Steelers. But the financial terms — likely a significant pay cut — matter because as the Steelers have stated, it is their intention to remain competitive. They’ll need some cap space to achieve that goal.

In the meantime, though, feel free to cheers with pals over the return of Roethlisberger, which is now official. We’ll see how their since-completed talks end up affecting Pittsburgh’s chances of assembling a quality roster in 2021.

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