Ben Roethlisberger’s contract only the beginning of the Steelers salary purge

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Curt Popejoy
·1 min read
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This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are reportedly going to sit down and talk about how they can change up Roethlisberger’s contract to help the Steelers with salary cap space for 2021.

But what they do with Big Ben is only the beginning. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, the Steelers and Roethlisberger are able to put together a contract extension that cuts his 2021 cap hit in half. This would free up around $20 million in cap space for free agency and the NFL draft.

Except it won’t. This move would still leave the Steelers $10 million over the salary cap with no one re-signed. This means there will be more contract work. Pittsburgh’s 10 big cap hits for 2021 constitute around $156 million of the team’s salary cap. A ridiculous percentage regardless of what the salary cap ends up being.

This means more guys on that list are going to have to take a pay cut. Veterans like Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro should all be willing to step up and do their part if winning a championship is really the goal.

What happens with these contracts will shape the entire 2021 season. If these players don’t work with the team, this roster will be bare-bones and will struggle to compete. Just remember all the good the purge does.

List

The 10 biggest salary cap hits for the Steelers in 2021