Steelers GM Declines to Commit to Ben Roethlisberger amid Rumors About Future

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2021

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) plays against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Ben Roethlisberger hopes to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021, but the team's front office didn't publicly commit to the quarterback Wednesday.

General manager Kevin Colbert told reporters: "As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. ... He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play. We told him we have to look at this current situation."

The 38-year-old has a $41.25 million cap hit for 2021, per Spotrac. The team could save $19 million by releasing the veteran or agree to a restructured deal that will keep him on the roster.

"Ben Roethlisberger did a lot of really good things last year," Colbert added. "We anticipate that he could still do really good things going forward. Hopefully we can figure out how to do what's best for the organization and for Ben. Hopefully he'll be able to see that."

Roethlisberger finished 2020 with 33 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, although his 3,803 passing yards were his lowest in a full season since 2012.

After beginning the year 11-0, the Steelers lost four of their final five games and then lost in the Wild Card Round to the Cleveland Browns. Roethlisberger totaled 501 passing yards and four touchdowns but also threw four interceptions in the playoff loss.

That creates question marks about the future of Roethlisberger, who has been the face of the franchise since being drafted in the first round in 2004, winning two Super Bowl titles.

Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins Jr. could be internal options for Pittsburgh if the team does move on at the position.

With a defense that finished third in the NFL in points allowed last season and quality playmakers like Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, the Steelers are set up for success if they can get more consistent production under center.