More details were released Thursday afternoon, shortly after it was announced that the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger agreed on a new contract.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Roethlisberger’s salary breaks down to this: A veteran minimum base salary of $1.075 million in 2021, with a $12.925 million signing bonus. The team added four voidable years to spread the cap hit out.
Technically, we’re looking at a new four-year deal for Big Ben. But in reality, the contract is for one year, as it all voids after the 2021 season. Before the new contract, Roethlisberger was set to make $19 million in 2021 ($4 million salary and $15 million roster bonus). Essentially, the Steelers tore up what was the final year of his contract and changed the value to where he’ll now earn $14 million ($1.075 salary, $12.92 signing bonus).
The main takeaway is how the contract’s structure saves Pittsburgh $15 million in 2021 and takes the team $3.6 million below the estimated $185 salary cap, according to OverTheCap.com.
Now comes the hard part: What to do with priority free agents (JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bud Dupree, et al.) and players whose contracts are expiring in 2022 (T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden, et al.).