Steelers On Hook For $55 Million Of Dead Salary Cap Money If Ben Roethlisberger Can’t Return After Surgery

Steelers On Hook For $55 Million Of Dead Salary Cap Money If Ben Roethlisberger Can’t Return After Surgery
PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is done for the season after injuring his elbow in Sunday’s 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The team announced Monday that Big Ben would need to undergo surgery to repair the elbow ending his season and leaving a trail of questions in his wake.

While the on-field ramifications will dominate discussion over the course of the next several days, there is another just as important aspect that can’t be overlooked.

Roethlisberger just signed an extension with the team this spring that was worth $68 million with a $37.5 million signing bonus. That deal seemed fine at the time as Ben was healthy and the rules of the game have generally allowed quarterbacks to play deeper into their careers than in previous eras.

However, with the injury to his elbow, the contract becomes a bit more shaky. And, as Spotrac reports, the money included in the contract contains $30 million worth that is guaranteed for injury in 2020 and 2021.

Depending on the severity of the injury, it is possible that Roethlisberger, at age 38 as of next spring, may not be able to make it back. If that were to be the case, the $55 million in dead cap money would certainly affect how the Steelers are able to operate in the offseason for the next two years.

To further pile insult on top of injury, with Roethlisberger out and Antonio Brown now playing for the New England Patriots, the Steelers two largest cap hits for this season are not playing for the team.

The team has not said specifically what the injury to Roethlisberger’s elbow was diagnosed as, but there has been plenty of speculation that it is a torn ulnar collateral ligament or UCL, which has become known for the surgery required to fix it: Tommy John.

On a positive note, Delhomme did return from surgery and lead the Carolina Panthers to a 12-4 record throwing for over 3,200 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2008. But, the elbow issues did continue for him and he was out of the league by 2011.