Former NFL Executive Says The Steelers Should Have Simply Released QB Ben Roethlisberger

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Former NFL executive Mike Tannenbaum is speaking out about Thursday’s announcement that the Pittsburgh Steelers are bringing franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back on a new contract – and he’s not in favor of the move.

Tannenbaum, who has been an Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Miami Dolphins as well as the general manager for the New York Jets, tweeted out that Pittsburgh should simply have cut ties with the 39-year-old QB. Instead, the team opted to jump through the hoops of lowering Big Ben’s salary to free up the necessary money to make moves this offseason.

As pointed out by Adam Schefter, Ben’s contract now will pay him $14 million in 2021 instead of his previous $19 million.

The move will possibly allow the Steelers to bring back one of their two big name free agents, linebacker Bud Dupree, who is working his way back from a torn ACL, or wide out JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has said multiple times that he wants to remain with the Steelers.

Tannenbaum has called Roethlisberger the fourth best QB in the division, however no one has even come close to winning as many games as he has. And if this is indeed the ‘farewell tour’ for Ben, you can bet he doesn’t want to go out the way the team’s season ended last year, with an ugly 48-37 home Wild Card loss to Cleveland.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."


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  1. Reminds me of a conversation on Game of Thrones between Tywin and Arya about her father. Ty – “What killed him?” Arya – “Loyalty” If there isn’t any word that sums up the Steeler’s franchise in terms of personnel, it’s loyalty.

  2. Just an awful former executive for a reason. What a troll awful opinion. It’s easy to say they should move on. Move on with what? Who can you get that is better than Ben right now? Yes long term may not be the best move but long term doesn’t win you games now. Let’s not forget they were 11-0 last year. Yes some were close wins but that is the NFL.

  3. He’s much better than what they trotted out there when he missed the previous year with a blown out elbow. They’re a playoff team with him. All you need to to is get in and get hot at the right time. Look at Tampa.

  4. steelers aren’t winning anything in 2021. neither are the saints. both teams were way over the cap, before they dropped the cap number.

    Vet QB’s are finally getting a lesson in bonus $$$ paid out. theoretically a player could play without a salary in 2021 if he was already paid.

    ben could play for zero 😜

  5. Releasing or the new contract, either way the Steelers would take a significant hit on the salary cap so why not bring him back. He is still much better than anyone else they have or could have afforded. The tougher schedule in 2021 will probably limit the Steeler’s success but Green Bay and KC got by with patched together offensive lines last season. If the Steelers can get a running back and upgrade the line a little then Ben gives them a shot.

  6. The Steelers aren’t winning the division again for years, but that’s not how the Rooney family does business. Ben will get his chance to take the grand tour and say goodbye. Unless they get a QB soon, Rudolph or Haskins isn’t pushing Ben off the starting job.

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