PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers plans to have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back for an 18th season.
Team President Art Rooney II released a statement on Wednesday in which he and Roethlisberger met to find a way to ease the financial pressures caused by Roethlisberger’s contract.
Roethlisberger, who will turn 39 next month, has a salary cap of $ 41 million for 2021 and will receive a roster bonus of $ 15 million on March 20, shortly after the start of the new league year.
Rooney called the meeting with Roethlisberger “productive” and added that both sides could “discuss a lot of things related to where we are and where we are going”.
The Steelers went 12-4 and won the AFC North in 2020, but the track faded. Pittsburgh lost five of their last six games after an 11-0 start, including a playoff loss to Cleveland in which Roethlisberger threw four interceptions.
The Steelers are facing a serious crisis and have already started overtaking the coaching staff and roster. Center Maurkice Pouncey and Vance McDonald, both close friends of Roethlisberger, have retired. Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, who is also close to Roethlisberger, was fired. More moves are on the way with broad receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, full-back Bud Dupree and left winger Alejandro Villanueva among the team’s 19 outstanding free agents.
Even so, Rooney was optimistic that the Steelers could remain competitive during Roethlisberger’s long tenure.
“We want (Roethlisberger) back to win a championship,” said Rooney.
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