Ben Roethlisberger: Taking a pay cut was my idea

After the 2020 season, it was clear that if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was going to return to Pittsburgh in 2021, something would have to change.

That something, specifically, was his contract.

Roethlisberger entered the offseason with a contract that carried a cap charge of $41.25 million. That was not going to be tenable for Pittsburgh, which G.M. Kevin Colbert all but admitted straight out in February.

The whole issue was resolved in early March, when Roethlisberger agreed to a new contract that freed up $15 million in cap room for the Steelers. It also amounted to a significant salary reduction for the longtime QB, as his compensation went from $19 million to $14 million.

On Tuesday, Roethlisberger said “It was my idea” to take that pay cut.

“I said I wanted to help the team out however we can,” Roethlisberger said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.

The quarterback added he felt he could give the Steelers everything he has if they wanted him back.

Roethlisberger and his representation may have been the first to approach the Steelers about that pay cut instead of the club coming to him. But either way, it was going to happen for him to stay in Pittsburgh for 2021.

In 2020, Roethlisberger threw for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 regular-season games. He missed the most playing time of his career in 2019, when he played only two games due to a season-ending elbow injury.