For all the fervor created by Kevin Colbert’s comments during his session with the media Wednesday afternoon, he seemed to strike a more optimistic tone in another interview regarding Ben Roethlisberger’s future with the Steelers in 2021. Virtually, he spoke with Missi Matthews 1v1 in an interview posted a short time ago on the Steelers’ website.
“Ben obviously is our quarterback,” Colbert told Matthews. “He did some really special things last year. We believe he still can do some special things as we hopefully move into 2021.”
Roethlisberger was one of the reasons why the Steelers got off to a franchise-first 11-0 start. Of course, he’s one reason why the team struggled down the stretch. But without a run game, Pittsburgh had to run its entire offense through Roethlisberger. The inability to run even situationally predictably hurt the team.
Though the team has an obvious difficult cap situation to manage, both regarding Roethlisberger’s contract and the overall salary cap, still unknown for the entire league, Colbert’s tone made it appear like they’ll work something out. It will just take time to get more clarity on finances.
“Of course, Ben is under contract. We have some salary cap implications not only with him but with a lot of players and potential new players. We have to be aware of that, he was to be aware of that. Which he is. We spoke right after the season. He came in and visited myself and Coach Tomlin and Art Rooney and we all had good discussions. We all agreed we’ll stay in touch and see how things progress throughout these months and this offseason comes together.”
The Steelers will have to make a decision on Roethlisberger’s future before March 20th, the third day of the new league year when his roster bonus is due.
Colbert’s apprehensive comments seem to be more focused on the cap situation than it is any statement on Roethlisberger’s play. Without knowing the cap number, it could swing between $175 million to staying flat at $198 million, it’s difficult to chart a path forward on Roethlisberger or any other player. Ideally, the league will announce the 2021 cap number within the next 2-3 weeks, giving time for the Steelers to rework Roethlisberger’s contract. Stay tuned.