CINCINNATI — Ben Roethlisberger sat on the bench longer than normal on Sunday night at Heinz Field following the Steelers' 48-37 loss to the Browns. Tears filled his eyes as he reflected on the season and maybe his career.
The 38-year-old hasn't made a decision about his future, but there's a chance he played his last game.
“Well it’s gonna start between me and God,” Roethlisberger said after the loss. “A lot of praying. And then, you know, a lot of talking with my family, discussions, decisions. And, you know, I still have a year left on my contract. I hope the Steelers want me back, if that’s the way we go. There’ll be a lot of discussions, but now’s not the time for that.”
Roethlisberger completed 47-of-68 passes for 501 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions in the loss. He was off target for most of the game, but had a few solid stretches that helped his numbers and the game look more competitive than it actually was.
If Roethlisberger decides to play again next season, then the Steelers will have to make a decision about the veteran quarterback.
Pittsburgh could release him, but they would suffer a $22.5 million cap hit. If they bring him back on his current deal, then his cap number would be $41.25 million.
The cap could be as low as $175 million next season, so the Steelers are going to have to make some moves if they want to keep the two-time Super Bowl Champion under center.
If Roethlisberger wants to play multiple seasons, then he could sign an extension and change his contract to free up some cap space in 2021.
That's just one of the many big decisions hanging over the Steelers following their season-ending loss to the Browns.
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