“We have signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for 2021,” the team said in a short announcement on Twitter. Roethlisberger originally had a $41.2 million cap hit for next season – with a $19 million salary for the 2021 season.
With the team up against the cap, the team knew it needed to re-work Big Ben’s contract heading into the new campaign. The two-time Super Bowl champion obliged and the two sides agreed to a new deal.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Roethlisberger willingly reduced his salary from $19 to $14 million for the 2021 season. He also agreed to spread the cash through 2022.
The re-worked deal opens up over $15 million in cap space as the Steelers head into free agency.
Ben Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14M from $19M in this final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022, per source. It lowered the cap hit by over $15M, all so the team can make the right moves to be as competitive as possible this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 4, 2021
Pittsburgh has a number of free agents the team hopes to keep on the roster. Perhaps the most important player to lock up for the foreseeable future would be wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
When the 2020 season came to a close, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Smith-Schuster wouldn’t be back next season. While it’s still a longshot, the extra cap space opened up by Big Ben’s re-worked deal can’t hurt.
Both Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster have said they want to continue to play together.
Willl JuJu be back with the Steelers next season?