Ben Roethlisberger contract details: Steelers QB takes pay cut to save Pittsburgh cap space

“Big Ben” takes a small pay cut.

On Thursday, the Steelers announced that they have signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for the 2021, effectively restructuring the remaining money on Roethlisberger’s contract and ending a months-long odyssey of the two parties dancing around one another in contract discussions.

We have signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for 2021.

“It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said in a statement. “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 to 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.”

Earlier in the offseason, Steelers brass indicated they would have liked to keep Roethlisberger around, just at a cheaper number than his $40 million cap hit he was scheduled to take into the 2021 season.

With Pittsburgh up against the cap and several key free agents — including wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and linebacker Bud Dupree — the team needed some wiggle room, which the restructured quarterback contract has given them.

“We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said. “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.”

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Here’s how Roethlisberger’s new deal shakes out:

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Ben Roethlisberger contract details

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Roethlisberger agreed to take a $5 million pay cut in the final year of his contract (2021), spreading his cash pay out into the 2022 season.

The move lowered Roethlisber’s 2021 cap hit by $15 million, down from the $41.2 million hit he was scheduled to account for in 2021. Roethlisberger was originally set to become a free agent following the 2021 season. Roethlisberger’s original cap number was the highest of any player in the league entering 2021.

Ben Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14M from $19M in this final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022, per source. It lowered the cap hit by over $15M, all so the team can make the right moves to be as competitive as possible this season.

Ben Roethlisberger’s 1 year $14M extension saves the #Steelers $15.335M of cap space in 2021. https://t.co/OHJLpxPI4b pic.twitter.com/xoiOSQOt4T

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that some of Roethlisberger’s money was converted into a signing bonus, with an out after the first season.

#Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s new contract for 2021 utilizes a signing bonus, minimum base salary and voidable years to free up about $15 million of cap space, per source. Big Ben takes a $5M paycut, from $19M to $14M, giving the team much-needed breathing room.

Per Spotrac, the cap hit the Steelers are expected to face is still over $22 million, but the Steelers still make out well in opening up cap space.

The 2021 cap hit on Ben Roethlisberger’s new contract starts at $22.25M. This is the (inflexible) dead cap that must rollover from the previous deal.