Ben Roethlisberger felt taking pay reduce was ‘essential’ to have the ability to help Pittsburgh Steelers sign high talent

With the disappointment of a first-round playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns still recent, Ben Roethlisberger made the quick determination to return as the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback for a minimal of another season.

To try this, though, he acknowledged that his $41.25 million cap hit was untenable, and he asked the entrance office for a pay reduce so it may fill the roster holes around him.

“It was my thought,” Roethlisberger stated Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time since that postseason loss. “I told them I want to help the group out however we are ready to, and so I went to them and advised them that I would do whatever I might to help the group sign the fellows which are going to assist us win football video games. … In order to do that, to get guys right here, I felt that it was essential to strive this.”

Roethlisberger, 39, lowered his salary by $5 million, signing a new contract that is set to void after the 2021 season. But even though the terms of the deal seem to set an expiration date on his tenure as quarterback, Roethlisberger wasn’t prepared to speculate on his future.

“I’m going to method this like I do each season — like it’s my final,” he mentioned. “I assume that’s the strategy you have to take. And you don’t method it that method as a outcome of it could be your last, however you method it as a result of every single play within the recreation of soccer might be your final. Every recreation might be your final recreation. That simply means I’m going out to offer it every thing I have.

“I actually have never looked in direction of the lengthy run. I’ve all the time appeared on the right right here and now, and that is what’s important for me for this season is giving it every little thing I even have proper here and proper now for this group of fellows.”

Though the Steelers started on an 11-0 hot streak, their 2020 season fell apart within the last six games as Roethlisberger turned inconsistent in his throws and decision-making.

“I did not play nicely enough on the finish of the season,” he mentioned. “It’s not a secret, and I’ll be the primary to point the thumb at myself. When the ball is in your hand every play, you want to make plays and play better soccer. If the quarterback, myself, is not playing good soccer, that — particularly late within the season — is related to winning and dropping.

“I will take that playoff and those games on me. Just feeling worn down and never enjoying ok soccer at the finish of the season.”

The deep balls often missed the mark, and he accomplished solely 29% of passes thrown 20 yards downfield, 30th amongst certified quarterbacks.

Part of that, Roethlisberger mentioned, may be attributed to the elbow surgery he had the 12 months earlier than.
“I had complete reconstruction on my elbow, that might have one thing to do with it,” he mentioned. “But no excuses. … My arm was healed, clearly, I played. It was healthy. But I assume anybody that has an enormous surgery, it almost takes — like that first yr again, you might be back but are you actually again and feeling great?”

Roethlisberger, though, is not measuring how much better the elbow feels until later within the season.

“My arm feels nice, although,” he said. “I wish to wait to answer that query until we get into more of this season and see the method it feels. Right now, it feels really good.”

A yr ago, Roethlisberger increased his regular offseason throwing volume as a half of his rehabilitation, but this year, things are back to normal.

“Last year I threw hundreds of balls within the offseason as a result of we were rehabbing,” Roethlisberger said. “This 12 months, it has gone again to the normal routine of throwing right here, doing a little bit at home with the trainer. But principally taking day off. I took lots of time off from throwing, so I hope and think and really consider it will pay dividends this yr.”