Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey enounced his retirement from the NFL on Friday and as expected, the media has worked to get a response on that from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. They got that reaction and within the great tribute that Roethlisberger paid to Pouncey, he also let it be known that he’s still yet to talk to the Steelers about his own furfure and contract situation, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette.
Roethlisberger texted with Pouncey Thursday night and said "I didn’t feel right trying to talk him out of it. I'm still processing him retiring. That’s hard for me." Roethlisberger still has not met with Steelers about what they want to do.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) February 12, 2021
Last week there was a report by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that stated Roethlisberger and the Steelers would be meeting to discuss his future and contract situation sometime this week and that obviously has yet to happen as of Friday morning. Will it happen sometime on Friday? We shall see.
Pouncey retiring on Friday will clear just $7.34 million in 2021 salary cap space after roster displacement takes place so that is some much-needed room. The Steelers were more than $30 million over a cap number of $175 million entering Friday so Pouncey’s retirement now should have then under in the high $20 million range over the cap.
Will Pouncey’s decision to retire impact any decision that Roethlisberger will make in the coming weeks? It obviously could but while both players had long said they would likely retire at the same time, it’s still likely that Roethlisberger will play at least one more season on an adjusted contract of some kind. Roethlisberger is scheduled to make $19 million in 2021 and carry a cap number of $41.25 million.
Roethlisberger is due a $15 million roster bonus not long after the start of the new league year on March 17. The Steelers will obviously need to be salary cap compliant by March 17 as well and that’s less than five weeks away.