Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert did not commit to bringing back Ben Roethlisberger for the 2021 season.
"As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Colbert said. "...He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play. We told him we have to look at this current situation."
The Steelers had made it clear that the quarterback would not be returning without a restructured contract, which Roethlisberger said he was willing to re-do. While Colbert did not entirely shut the door on the 38-year-old's return, it appears Roethlisberger will have to take a massive pay cut.
“Ben Roethlisberger did a lot of really good things last year. We anticipate that he could still do really good things going forward," Colbert said. "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."
Finances are first in evaluating Roethlisberger's situation. Under his current contract, he has a $41.25 million cap hit for the 2021 season. Pittsburgh is approximately $30 million over the cap. Roethlisberger has a $15 million roster bonus on the horizon that would be paid if he's still on the team by March 19.
"Then we’re making guesstimates as to what we can do to put the best team together for our sake and for Ben’s sake," Colbert said. "What kind of team can he anticipate being around him if we decide we can move forward together."
Given the noncommittal tone of the press conference, Colbert's qualifiers before his answers were similar to those of Rams GM Les Snead said about Jared Goff being the quarterback "right now." Shortly after, he was traded to the Lions.