Big Ben returning to Steelers for 2021 NFL season
After a long period of uncertainty surrounding his future with the team he was drafted with the 11th overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially returned to the only NFL team he has suited up for in his career on a one-year deal. On Thursday, the Steelers and Roethlisberger agreed to terms on a one-year contract for Roethlisberger to remain with the team following a restructured contract and public support from the franchise’s president Art Rooney II.
With the news, Roethlisberger, 39, is expected to start at quarterback for the Steelers for the 17th consecutive season and is entering this season with an overall career record of 174-79-1, which includes postseason games and his Super Bowl championships from the 2005 and 2008 seasons.
“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said in a statement issued by the team. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”
According to ESPN sources, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback out of the University of Miami (Ohio) reportedly was more than happy to spread his final year’s worth of salary through 2022 and take a $5 million pay cut to reduce his previous $41.2 million against the salary by more than $15 million.
“We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. Our goal remains the same — to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal.”
Big Ben returns to lead a Steelers team that recorded an 11-0 start to the 2020 season, where he threw for 33 touchdowns against 10 interceptions coming off a major, season-ending elbow injury in 2019. He also completed 399 of his 608 pass attempts (65.5 completion percentage) to go with 3,803 yards through the air.
Pittsburgh’s season ended in a 48-37 defeat to the Cleveland Browns in the Divisional Round at Heinz Field. In that game, Roethlisberger completed 47 of 68 pass attempts for 501 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. For more sports coverage, click here.