Earlier on Tuesday, it was reported by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger met earlier in the day with team president Art Rooney II to discuss the player’s future and that meeting between the two “went well.” That meeting apparently went so well that it has since been reported on Tuesday that Roethlisberger is now all but certain to return for the 2021 season. Right before that news broke, however, Dulac reported new details concerning went on during that meeting between Roethlisberger and Rooney.
According to Dulac’s latest report, Roethlisberger’s meeting was initially scheduled to take place with Rooney and head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin, however, is still recovering from his positive COVID-19 test and was not part of the Tuesday meeting. Dulac reports that a meeting that will include Tomlin is still to come and that Roethlisberger had recently talked to Tomlin last week although no plans for the 2021 season were discussed at that time.
Dulac’s report also includes details about what a new deal for Roethlisberger would likely look like if and should the quarterback and the team agree that he will be back in 2021. According to Dulac, the Steelers would sign Roethlisberger to a new three-year deal that would presumably include most of the quarterback’s $19 million he’s currently owed for the 2021 season being turned into a signing bonus so that it could be prorated over the three total years.
If we go exactly by how Dulac’s report is written, the Steelers plan is to essentially sign Roethlisberger to a two-year extension and that $17.925 million of the $19 million he’s currently due in 2021, of which $15 million is a roster bonus, would be turned into a signing bonus and prorated out over the three years of the deal, 2021-2023. If that is indeed the plan, the result of that extension would decrease Roethlisberger’s 2021 cap charge by $11.95 million.
The byproduct of such an extension as Dulac laid out in his report would set the Steelers up for a dead money amount of $11.95 million should 2021 be Roethlisberger’s final season with the team. Dulac obviously did not provide details about any voidable years past 2021 in addition to base salary or possible roster bonus amounts in 2022 and 2023.
So, based on the Tuesday evening report that Roethlisberger should be back in 2021 and Dulac’s report about the Tuesday meeting between the quarterback and Rooney, that’s all we have to go on right now so I will leave it at that. We’ll now wait and see if Dulac’s report about what Roethlisberger’s contract structure winds up being correct.