Report: Agent confirms that Ben Roethlisberger will be back with Steelers for 2021 season

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Joe Rutter, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
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Feb. 24—It looks like Ben Roethlisberger will be sticking around with the Pittsburgh Steelers for another season.

Agent Ryan Tollner told NFL Network on Tuesday that the Steelers want his client to return for an 18th season. Roethlisberger, who turns 39 in March, is signed through the 2021 season, but the Steelers said the only way he could return this season is if his $41.25 million salary cap hit is reduced.

"They want Ben back and will contact me soon to address his cap situation," Tollner told NFL Network. "As we've shared since the season ended, we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible."

Roethlisberger is due a $4 million salary and a $15 million roster bonus that is payable March 19, the third day of the NFL calendar year. The other $22.5 million is in the form of "dead cap" space from prior contract restructurings.

The Steelers and Roethlisberger could negotiate a new contract that will spread the $19 million over at least three years, lessening his cap hit for the 2021 season. The Steelers already have restructured the contract of defensive tackle Cameron Heyward to create $7 million in cap space for the upcoming season.

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Roethlisberger returned from right elbow surgery to pass for 3,808 yards and 33 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. However, he struggled down the stretch as the Steelers lost five of their six games following an 11-0 start.

Roethlisberger had six interceptions in his final six starts, and he was intercepted four times in the Steelers' 48-37 playoff loss to Cleveland in the wild-card round.

Tollner said Roethlisberger is determined to make amends for the way the season ended for the Steelers.

"A year ago, Ben wasn't sure if he could throw again, but he battled back to get 12 wins and the 8th division title of his career," Tollner said. "They lost steam down the stretch, and that doesn't sit well for him, so the fire burns strong and there is plenty of gas left in the tank."

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at jrutter@triblive.com or via Twitter .