PITTSBURGH -- The long-awaited message from the Pittsburgh Steelers regarding the future of Ben Roethlisberger has been released.
On Wednesday morning, Steelers president Art Rooney II confirmed in a statement that he met with Roethlisberger on Tuesday, Feb. 23 to discuss where the two are in terms of wanting to return. Rooney expressed that Roethlisberger, 38, does wish to play in 2021 and that the team wants him to return as well.
"Ben Roethlisberger and I met yesterday morning and we had a productive meeting," Rooney said. "We were able to discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go. Ben assured me that he is committed to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to win a championship."
We both understand that the next step is to work out Ben's contract situation."
Roethlisberger's current contract will hand the Steelers a $41.25 million cap hit in 2021. If they're able to restructure the deal, that hit would be lowered to as little as around $27 million.
Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, told NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala that he is willing to negotiate that cap number.
"As we've shared since the season ended, we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible," Tollner said.
The Steelers are roughly $10 million over the $180 salary cap floor and have 24 pending free agents. The team took their first steps in meeting the salary cap by restructuring defensive captain Cameron Heyward's deal last week.
Pittsburgh has until Mar. 17 to be in compliance with the league's cap number.