After Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team couldn’t afford to keep Ben Roethlisberger at his contracted salary-cap hit for 2021, the star quarterback stated a willingness to adjust his wages with the team.
“I want to do everything I can and made that very clear to them from the very beginning that it was my idea to basically help the team however I can this year,” Roethlisberger told The Athletic on Thursday. “I don’t care about my pay at all this year.”
Earlier Thursday, Rooney said Big Ben’s 18th season with the Steelers would not come with the contracted $41.25 million salary-cap hit. Roethlisberger is due to earn $19 million next season, with $4 million in salary and $15 million coming as a roster bonus on the third day of the 2021 league year.
“We’ve left that door open,” Rooney said. “We’ve been up front with Ben in letting him know that we couldn’t have him back under the current contract.”
Roethlisberger, who turns 39 in March, threw for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in 15 games this season. The two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl selection said after Pittsburgh’s wild-card playoff loss to Cleveland on Jan. 10 that he has not made a decision about his future.
Roethlisberger threw for 501 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in the 48-37 postseason defeat against the Browns.
Roethlisberger’s agent Ryan Tollner later reiterated to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the longtime Steelers star would be amenable to making things work for the team.
“Ben knows he has more left, but having key players back, like (Maurkice) Pouncey, will be important,” Tollner told the Gazette. “Ben’s contract won’t hold things up. We told them immediately after the season we will make any necessary adjustment to help their cap situation in 2021.”
Roethlisberger has thrown for 60,348 yards with 396 touchdowns and 201 interceptions in 233 career games since Pittsburgh selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft.
Former Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers last week. The transaction was seen as a low-risk move by the Steelers, who also have Mason Rudolph under contract while fellow quarterback Josh Dobbs is set for free agency.
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