The Washington Post

QB Ben Roethlisbe­rger returns to the Steelers — albeit with a pay cut.


Ben Roethlisbe­rger is returning for an 18th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is taking a pay cut to do it.

The team and the two-time Super Bowl winner announced Thursday they agreed on a new contract that assures the 39-yearold will be back in 2021.

Financial details were not immediatel­y available, though the Steelers made no secret of the need for Roethlisbe­rger to take a pay cut to ease some of the burden of his Nfl-high $41.25 million salary cap hit scheduled for 2021.

NFL Network, citing people speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Roethlisbe­rger’s deal will essentiall­y pay him $14 million this season and adds four voidable years to spread out the dead money.

“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,” Roethlisbe­rger said in a statement. “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.”

Roethlisbe­rger passed for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with 10 intercepti­ons in 15 games in 2020 after missing almost all of 2019 with a right elbow injury. The Steelers won their first 11 games on their way to a 12-4 record and captured the AFC North title but were stunned at home by Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs thanks in part to four Roethlisbe­rger intercepti­ons.

Steelers President Art Rooney II, Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert all expressed the desire to bring back Roethlisbe­rger, stressing the need to do it in a way that gives the Steelers some financial flexibilit­y. The new contract does offer a bit more freedom, but Pittsburgh is facing several high-profile departures in free agency.

GIANTS: New York cut Golden Tate in a move that clears $6.1 million in salary cap space and says goodbye to a wide receiver who never panned out after signing a $37 million contract as a free agent in 2019.

The 32-year-old Tate confirmed the move in a tweet in which he thanked the organizati­on for its profession­alism, told his former teammates to win the NFC East next season and thanked the New York City metropolit­an area fans.

Tate was set to earn $8.4 million in 2021.

Tate had some problems with the Giants. He missed the first four games of 2019 for using a performanc­e enhancer. He had injuries last season and was benched for a game against Washington after complainin­g into an end zone camera following a touchdown catch against the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers that not enough passes were being thrown to him.

He played in 23 games with 14 starts in his two seasons with the Giants. PANTHERS: Linebacker l Thomas Davis Sr. and tight end Greg Olsen are signing one-day contracts to retire as members of the Carolina Panthers.

Davis spent 14 seasons with the Panthers before finishing his career with Washington last year. Davis is the team’s franchise leaders in tackles with 1,258 and played more games than any defensive player in team history. He also had 28 sacks and 24 takeaways.

Olsen spent nine of his 14 NFL seasons with the Panthers. He had 524 catches for 6,463 yards and 39 touchdowns during his time with Carolina, including three straight 1,000-yard seasons. Olsen finished his playing career last season with the Seattle Seahawks.

The former team captains helped the Panthers win three straight NFC South titles and reach the Super Bowl in 2015.

A retirement news videoconfe­rence is set for March 11.

CHIEFS: Kansas City’s stadium will have a new name when the upcoming season begins.

The team announced that it reached a naming rights deal with Government Employees Health Associatio­n, based in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

The stadium’s full name will be GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Officials with GEHA and the Chiefs said in a news release they plan to ensure that Arrowhead Stadium will remain the identity of the stadium.

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