NFL

Steelers owner expects Roethlisberger back on re-worked deal

By Sports Desk February 24, 2021

Ben Roethlisberger has publicly stated he would like to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021. The team has now confirmed the feeling is mutual.

Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement on Wednesday indicating the team's desire to have Roethlisberger back for an 18th season with the franchise, adding that they will soon enter negotiations to adjust the longtime quarterback's contract. 

"Ben Roethlisberger and I met [Tuesday] morning and we had a productive meeting. We were able to discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go," Rooney stated.

"Ben assured me that he is committed to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to win a championship. We both understand that the next step is to work out Ben's contract situation.

"We owe it to him to have a conversation about how he wants to end his career, and we intend to that."

Rooney's remarks come one day after Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, told NFL.com that the Steelers are open to his client's return on a renegotiated contract. The two-time Super Bowl champion carries a $41.25 million cap hit for 2021, the highest of any player, with the salary cap expected to decrease due to revenue lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we've shared since the season ended, we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible," Tollner said. 

Roethlisberger turns 39 in March and has drawn widespread speculation about his future due to his advanced age and Pittsburgh's current lack of salary cap flexibility, as well as a decline in play during the second half of a 2020 season that ended with a disappointing home loss to the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card Playoff round.

Making a successful comeback from a career-threatening elbow injury that limited him to two games in 2019, Roethlisberger threw for 22 touchdowns and only four interceptions while producing a 103.0 passer rating through his first nine starts of last season – all Pittsburgh wins.

The six-time Pro Bowler was intercepted six times and had an 83.2 rating over his next six starts, however, as the Steelers went 3-3 and eventually dropped to the AFC's No. 3 playoff seed. 

Roethlisberger did set an NFL postseason record with 47 completions while throwing for 501 yards and four touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s lone playoff game, but was picked off four times as the Steelers were dealt a 48-37 loss to the rival Browns.

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    He was named Super Bowl LIII MVP for his performance in the most recent of the Patriots' championship triumphs, which saw him make 10 catches for 141 yards.

    Consistently reliable in the biggest moments, Edelman ranks second in postseason receiving yards (1,442) and receptions (118).

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    In a video announcement on Twitter, Edelman said: "I've always said, I'll go until the wheels come off, and they've finally fallen off.

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    Head coach Bill Belichick said in a statement: "By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all.

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    "This is a tribute to his legendary competitiveness, mental and physical toughness and will to excel. Day in and day out, Julian was always the same: all out.

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  • Cincinnati Bengals: Progress hinges on Joe Burrow protection Cincinnati Bengals: Progress hinges on Joe Burrow protection

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    Offseason

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