Steelers team president Art Rooney II met with Ben Roethlisberger on Tuesday. The meeting went well, according to a report afterward.
Apparently, the meaning of “the meeting went well” is both sides have agreed to give it another go.
Ryan Tollner, the quarterback’s agent, told Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network that the Steelers “want Ben back and will contact me soon to address his cap situation. As we’ve shared since the season ended, we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible. A year ago, Ben wasn’t sure if he could throw again, but he battled back to get 12 wins and the eighth division title of his career. They lost steam down the stretch and that doesn’t sit well for him, so the fire burns strong, and there is plenty of gas in the tank.”
The Steelers will have to rework Roethlisberger’s contract, which calls for a whooping $41.25 million salary cap hit for 2021. Roethlisberger already said he is willing to work with the team to make it work, which means a pay cut of some sort.
The Steelers created doubt about whether they wanted Roethlisberger to return last week. General Manager Kevin Colbert was noncommittal about Roethlisberger playing an 18th season with the team.
Roethlisberger, who turns 39 next month, remains the team’s best option at the position despite his age and his dropoff late last season. In the final five regular-season games he played, Roethlisberger threw nine touchdowns and had six turnovers as the Steelers went only 2-3.
Roethlisberger then threw four touchdowns and four interceptions in the wild-card playoff loss to the Browns.
But Roethlisberger’s return prevents the Steelers from hunting for a starting quarterback this offseason when they are up against the cap or from handing the reins to Mason Rudolph, who is 5-4 in his career as a starter.