Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Browns won 48-37. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Steelers president: We can’t bring Big Ben back at cap hit

Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II on Thursday left the door open for the potential return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the 2021 season.

Rooney, however, said Big Ben’s 18th season with the Steelers would not come with the sizable $41.25 million cap hit. Roethlisberger is due to earn $19 million next season, with $4 million in salary and $15 million coming as a roster bonus on the third day of the 2021 league year.

“We’ve left that door open,” Rooney said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We’ve been up front with Ben in letting him know that we couldn’t have him back under the current contract.”

Roethlisberger, who turns 39 in March, threw for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns against 10 interceptions in 15 games this past season. The two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl selection said after the wild-card loss to Cleveland on Jan. 10 that he has not made a decision about his future.

Roethlisberger threw for 501 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in that 48-37 loss to the Browns.

Roethlisberger has thrown for 60,348 yards with 396 touchdowns and 201 interceptions in 233 career games since Pittsburgh selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Former Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers last week. The transaction was seen as a low-risk move by the Steelers, who also have Mason Rudolph under contract while fellow quarterback Josh Dobbs is set for free agency.

–Field Level Media

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