Pittsburgh Steelers Team President Art Rooney II has confirmed yesterday’s reports, releasing a statement saying he wants QB Ben Roethlisberger back for 2021. Here is the complete statement.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) February 24, 2021
“Ben Roethlisberger and I met yesterday morning and we had a productive meeting,” the statement reads. “We were able to discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go. Ben assured me he is committed to to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to help us win a championship. We both understand that the next step is to work out Ben’s contract situation.”
Rooney and Roethlisberger met yesterday to discuss his future. As his statement notes, the next step will be restructuring Roethlisberger’s contract to make it work under the contracted 2021 salary cap. A multi-year extension is the most likely path both sides take. According to the Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, a two-year extension is the most likely course the team takes. That will have to be completed no later than March 17th, the start of the new league year when all teams must be cap compliant.
This ends weeks of speculation the Steelers and Roethlisberger were ready to part. Despite GM Kevin Colbert’s less-than-enthusiastic words last week, the reality was the Steelers had to navigate a difficult cap situation to make Roethlisberger’s contract work and field a competitive team around him. But nothing the team said has doubted his on-field ability. So Roethlisberger will return, perhaps for one final season.