Ben Roethlisberger Rumors: Steelers to Talk Contract, Future with QB Next Week

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 4, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Cleveland Browns in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

Ben Roethlisberger's future could be decided next week. 

The quarterback is expected to meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers "sometime next week to discuss his future and contract," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday.

Per Fowler, "both sides took some time away" following the Steelers' loss to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card game. 

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reported Wednesday that both sides want to reach an agreement. Steelers owner Art Rooney II was open about the changes that need to be made if Roethlisberger is to remain in Pittsburgh.

"We’ve been, I think, upfront with Ben in letting him know that we couldn’t have him back under the current contract, and so I think he understands we have some work to do there," Rooney said last week, per Kaboly.

As it stands, the 38-year-old comes with a $41.25 million cap hit for 2021, according to Spotrac, and the salary cap for the upcoming season is expected to shrink by roughly $35 million because of revenue loss associated with COVID-19, Kaboly said. That would mean Roethlisberger would be responsible for 23 percent of the team's payroll after an offseason that will see 19 Steelers enter free agency.

The team restructured Roethlisberger's contract in March, which resulted in $10 million moving to his 2021 cap hit, per Kaboly. He is currently due to earn $4 million in base salary with a $15 million bonus in the first week of the league year. 

Coming off of 3,803-yard, 33-touchdown campaign in 2020, Roethlisberger was one of the strongest pieces of a once-undefeated Steelers squad, so it's no surprise that both sides are looking to reunite next season.