Putting Ben Roethlisberger’s Dead Money Heist In Perspective In 2022


With Ben Roethlisberger signing a new contract last week, there is sure to be a debate about how the numbers break down going forward. Of course, Roethlisberger taking a $ 5 million pay cut is not something anyone should complain about, as it shows that he meant what he said about doing what’s best for the team. Plus, the fact that Roethlisberger’s new contract is only $ 3.66 million over what his salary cap would have been anyway seems like a no-brainer for the Steelers to make this deal.

Where the whole problem comes in is that some folks aren’t fans of “kicking the can down the road,” which refers to shoving dead money into future years. When talking about dead money, it refers to funds already paid to the player in previous years, but which count towards the salary cap in the future.

Unfortunately, the only way to reduce the number of a large contract instead of breaking it and trying to get the player to sign a new one is to pump money into future years. It’s one of the many ways that NFL teams do business, and the Steelers have been using this feature for many seasons.

For Ben Roethlisberger’s new contract, he is only tied to the Steelers for the 2021 season with four years avoided added from 2022 to 2025. The way this works is that it allows any bonuses given to a player to be extended further into future seasons. where the player doesn’t even have a contract.

Rather than re-detailing Roethlisberger’s contract, the details can be viewed here:

So what happens to the dead money due to the Steelers due to these voidable years?

With Roethlisberger technically out of a contract for 2022 because he has no base salary, I will operate under the assumption that Ben Roethlisberger’s last season in Pittsburgh is 2021. If Roethlisberger signs another deal in 2022, all of these numbers associated with the empty years will change. .

So if Ben Roethlisberger rides into the sunset after next season, the Steelers will still have a dead money salary cap of $ 10.34 million in 2022. While this number seems shameful, it should be noted that if Rothlisberger had. called a race. after last season, his dead money would have been $ 22.25 million. Either way, these numbers are not desirable. But are they unreasonable?

To make a better comparison, let’s take a look at five franchise quarterbacks in recent years and see what kind of dead money they left their teams when they finished their career or moved to another franchise.


Peyton Manning: $ 16 million (Colts), $ 2.5 million (Broncos)

2021 Hall of Famer Peyton Manning is where we started even though he has now been out of the NFL for five years. When the Indianapolis Colts decided to leave Manning after missing an entire season due to an injury that gave them the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, he left the Colts receiving a $ 16 million hit in 2012, while Manning was the NFL quarterback. Broncos. When Manning called it a career after the 2015 season, he walked away from a base salary of $ 19 million, but only left the Broncos with $ 2.5 million in dead money for 2016.


Eli manning: $ 0 (Giants)

Not all franchises can solve their quarterback game like the New York Giants. Keeping Eli Manning under contract throughout his 16-year career, which included two Super Bowl victories, the Giants and Manning parted ways with no money on the table. While it worked well from a financial standpoint, it’s debatable that the Giants didn’t get much value for the $ 23.2 million against Manning’s salary cap last season. After starting two games, Manning was benched in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Coming in for two more starts in weeks 14 and 15, Manning managed to win his last NFL career start before returning to reserve duty. If the Giants had simply cut ties with Manning after the 2018 season, they would have brought in $ 6.2 million in dead money in 2019. Instead, Manning fulfilled his contract and both parties decided it was the end of the road.


Tom Brady: $ 13.5 million (Patriots)

When the New England Patriots didn’t bring Tom Brady back for the 2020 season, they had voided the remaining years on his contract at the time. When Brady took his $ 25 million with the Buccaneers, it also cost the Patriots $ 13.5 million against the 2020 salary cap. With his new contract in Tampa, Brady doesn’t have a signing bonus, so it shouldn’t cost dead money. if 2021 is his last season in Tampa with his current contract.


Philip Rivers: $ 0 (Chargers), $ 0 (foals)

Rivers, the only person on this list who hasn’t won a Super Bowl, didn’t even make the big game. Perhaps this is an indication of why it didn’t cost either team more of their time with the Chargers and Colts. Rivers’ contract simply ran out with the Chargers in 2019 with no empty years involved. By signing a one-year contract with the Colts last season, Rivers was left off the books with both teams he played for once he left town.


Drew Brees: TBD

After leaving the San Diego Chargers year after year on the franchise tag, Drew Brees has played 15 seasons in New Orleans. There is much speculation about his retirement this year, so much so that he has cut his salary from $ 25 million for 2021 to the league’s lowest. This was not done to get Brees to play this season, but to lower his salary cap through June so the Saints can spread the dead money over two seasons rather than take it all in 2021. With Brees looking to cost $ 22.65 million in dead money is season if he doesn’t return to the Saints, doling out the hit to more than $ 11 million each season for 2021 and 2022 is much easier to handle, but still the worst of all quarterbacks covered here.


After looking at these five players, the $ 10.34 million the Steelers hope to have for the salary cap in 2022 is less than the numbers that Tom Brady cost the Patriots, Peyton Manning cost the Colts, and Drew Brees. it will eventually cost you money. Saints. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Steelers are going to have a situation like Philip Rivers or Eli Manning where they cost their team nothing after they left. But looking at these two situations, Rivers never gave his franchise a championship and played for a different team his final season, while Eli Manning was relegated to a backup for most of his final season.

The bottom line is that Ben Roethlisberger is not costing the Steelers an outrageous dead money cap if 2021 is his final year compared to other situations in which quarterbacks leave their teams.

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