PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) -- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and President Art Rooney II had a meeting Tuesday.
According to Gerry Dulac with our news partner at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the meeting "went well."
"Ben Roethlisberger met w team president Art Rooney II today and the meeting "went well," according to sources," Dulac tweeted.
On Wednesday morning, the Steelers released this statement from Rooney, confirming the meeting and that the Steelers would like to have Roethlisberger back.
"Ben Roethlisberger and I met yesterday morning and we had a productive meeting. We were able to discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go. Ben assured me that he is committed to coming back to help us win, and I told Ben that we would like to have him back to help us win a championship.
"We both understand that the next step is to work out Ben's contract situation."
Roethlisberger currently holds a $41.25 million salary-cap hit in 2021, the highest of any player in the league.
Both the quarterback and the team have taken turns in recent weeks talking about the need to lower that number considerably, particularly with the Steelers facing the difficult prospect of navigating a salary cap that might be $15 million to $20 million less than in 2020 thanks to a significant decline in gate revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roethlisberger is due a $15 million roster bonus on March 17, well before the draft and just three days into the league new year.
The big question is will Roethlisberger agree to return by accepting conditions set forth by the team? That was certainly part of what Rooney and the franchise quarterback discussed Tuesday.
Dulac shared more about the meeting with KDKA.
"Ben Roethlisberger has been wanting to meet Art Rooney II and (coach) Mike Tomlin now for almost two weeks," Dulac said. "That interview process last week was delayed when Mike Tomlin tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. But he was able to meet today with Art Rooney II. What I can tell you is that meeting "went well." We'll see where that leads, but it at least a positive note than a negative note."
Roethlisberger's agent Ryan Tollner told NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala that the Steelers "want Ben back and will contact me soon to address his cap situation."
Tollner also said, "we are happy to creatively adjust his contract to help them build the best team possible."
Dulac reports sources told him Rooney II told Roethlisberger on Tuesday that he wants him back in 2021. The Steelers president is expected to release a statement about Roethlisberger's future on Wednesday.
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