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NFL: Why are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger having contract trouble?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
Tyler Wombles
ANALYST
Modified 25 Feb 2021
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are locked in a contract battle with Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers and their franchise quarterback haven't come to a consensus on the 38-year-old's future with the team.

Roethlisberger has long been one of the NFL's better quarterbacks. But his age and recent injury issues have prompted questions regarding his position with the Steelers.

He also costs the franchise a lot of money, which can easily cause bitterness in the front office if they don't think he is still worth cutting such paychecks for.

Roethlisberger still wants to play and has appeared, at least publicly, to be okay with changing up his contract. But how much cash would he truly be willing to give up in order to get such a deal done?

Those in Roethlisberger's corner also want to know who he'll be playing with in the coming seasons, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That's always an important question for an older quarterback mulling his future.

The situation could ultimately come down to Roethlisberger's own pride: how much he values himself and his ability to still play at a high level versus how much he wants to stay with the franchise has led for so long.


If Roethlisberger leaves, who will be the Steelers' QB?

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals

It's hard to imagine a Pittsburgh Steelers offense without Roethlisberger. But if he and the team can't agree on his contract, that might soon become reality.

Backup Mason Rudolph, an Oklahoma State product, has been with the Steelers for three seasons. In limited playing time - he started eight games in 2019 - he has thrown for 2,089 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Since he joined the franchise, Rudolph has widely been viewed as Roethlisberger's likely successor. Moreover, he is well acquainted with the team and head coach Mike Tomlin.

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The Steelers recently acquired embattled quarterback Dwayne Haskins from the Washington Football Team. Washington parted ways with Haskins after multiple COVID-19 policy violations and inconsistency on the field.

Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers
Washington Football Team v San Francisco 49ers

Despite the accusations of immaturity, though, Haskins boasts lots of talent and is still in the nascent stage of his NFL career. Tomlin, an experienced and respected coach, may be able to help him turn around his career and become a stable presence on the field.

If neither of those options work for the Steelers, the NFL Draft always presents opportunities. There are plenty of prospects for Pittsburgh to consider if they want to mold a fresh signal-caller and make him their new franchise quarterback.

Published 23 Feb 2021, 07:34 IST
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