Plenty of eyebrows were raised last week when Steelers GM Kevin Colbert sounded unenthused (to put it kindly) about the prospect of Ben Roethlisberger returning in 2021. Colbert gave the classic GM-speak kiss of death of “as we sit here today, Ben Roethlisberger is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers,” and also said “quite frankly, we need to look at the situation.”
Then adding further fuel to the fire, Aditi Kinkhabwala of ESPN.com tweeted that the team still hadn’t reached out to Big Ben to set up a time to talk about his contract. Either it’s just funny timing, or someone within the building was reading Kinkhabwala’s tweets, because that’s no longer the case. Roethlisberger has met with Steelers owner Art Rooney II, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette tweets.
He doesn’t have many details, but sources told Dulac that the meeting “went well.” Of course, we’ve heard all offseason that Pittsburgh isn’t interested in bringing Roethlisberger back at his $40M+ cap charge, and that he’ll need to restructure his deal to return for one more ride.
To his credit Roethlisberger has said that’s fine by him, and that he doesn’t care what he ends up making in 2021. Right after the season ended it looked like Big Ben returning was something of a done deal, then recent comments from the organization made everything seem very much up in the air.
Tuesday’s meeting is the first step back in the other direction, and it shows the Steelers actually do have some intention of working something out with their franchise icon. We should know a lot more about this meeting and what comes next soon.