ESPN Suggests the Steelers Release Roethlisberger before 2021

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

By Justin McGonigle

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be one of several teams in salary cap hell next season should the salary cap come in at the projected 175 million. That leaves the Steelers at a projected 20 million over the salary cap.

Today ESPN released an article suggesting what players could potentially be released heading into 2021 to save their teams salary cap space.

The Steelers? Ben Roethlisberger.

It’s possible Roethlisberger retires and saves the team the headache. But if he doesn’t, it’s hard to imagine the Steelers bringing him back on his current contract. His cap hit for 2021 is more than $41 million. He has only one year left on his contract, so the team can’t restructure it any more than it already has. Pittsburgh could extend his contract and knock down some of that cap hit, or it could release him and save $19 million of the $41 million in cap charges.

This situation likely depends on how the rest of this season goes and what Roethlisberger decides. If he sticks around — and kind of even if he doesn’t — the Steelers have some tough decisions to make elsewhere. Pass-rushers Bud Dupree (free agent) and T.J. Watt (one year left) are both up for extensions, as is wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (free agent) and a number of other key Steelers.

If they want to try to keep even some of those guys around, they will have to cut elsewhere. A potential cut could be defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who has two non-guaranteed years left and would save Pittsburgh about $5.6 million in 2021 cap space. Linebacker Vince Williams ($4 million cap savings) and tight end Vance McDonald ($5.2 million) are more obvious potential cuts. It could be a rough offseason in Pittsburgh.

This was in a story that you have to pay to read as an ESPN insider!

Its way more likely that the Steelers extend Roethlisberger than they decide to move on from him. Especially when he’s in the middle of an MVP type season and his team being 9-0.

If you pay for these type of stories from ESPN were sorry. We can’t believe this is even a thing.

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