In an expected development, the Pittsburgh Steelers have informed outside linebacker Bud Dupree the team will not place the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Dupree, 28, is expected to still command around $12-$14 million per season in free agency, despite coming off a torn ACL.
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has taken a $5 million dollar paycut and will play the 2021 season on a one year, $14 million contract. Roethlisberger’s cap hit goes from $41 million to $26 million, which even with the pay cut still falls in line with every anticipation were he to return on a true pay cut or a dummy contract extension. If the Steelers had released Roethlisberger, he would have counted $22 million against the cap in 2021.
Ben Roethlisberger is officially back for the 2021 season, the Steelers have announced. We have signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for 2021. — Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 4, 2021 “It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization,” Roethlisberger said in a released statement. “I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert on Wednesday was non-committal on bringing Ben Roethlisberger back in 2021. “Hopefully there’s a way that we can try to figure out and do what’s best for the organization and do what’s best for Ben,” said Colbert. “Hopefully he’ll be able to see that and feel the same way we do. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, not only with Ben, with the whole unrestricted free-agent class and our whole cap situation as well.”
3-Time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt has been released by the Houston Texans. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Watt asked to be released and the Texans accommodated his wishes. No team is getting the J.J. Watt of old, but the 31 year old will still have a number of teams clamoring for him. Having already made over $100 million in his career and a number of lucrative endorsement deals, the Steelers talk is something to at least monitor as the door has opened for all three Watts to play together. Watt had 5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2020, appearing in all 16 games. His last true great season came in 2018 where he put up a 16 sack season. Watt has 101 career sacks in 128 games.
Maurkice Pouncey officially announced his retirement on Friday morning. Pouncey’s retirement will save the Steelers $8 million in cap space for the 2021 season. Pouncey who some see as a likely Hall-of-Famer, had his finest years early in his career. 2010-2014 Pouncey was just another level compared to the rest of his career where he probably got more credit for being a truly great center than he really was in his final 4-5 years. Pouncey’s most dominant season of his career might have been his 2010 rookie season. He unfortunately was injured for the Super Bowl loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Steelers tight end Vance McDonald has called it a career, announcing his retirement today. McDonald’s retirement saves the Steelers $5.2 million against the cap. “My family and I are so grateful for everything NFL football has provided us in our life — all the memories both good and the difficult, the relationships and friends we’ve made along the way, the life lessons the game provided both me and my loved ones,” McDonald said in a statement released by the Steelers. “It’s always been our dream and mission to leverage the platform given us through the NFL to help serve and uplift others along the way, and we will continue to find ways to serve others as we begin this next chapter of our lives. I am proud to retire a Steeler.”