Ben Roethlisberger's run in Pittsburgh may not be over yet -- the QB met with team owner Art Rooney on Tuesday and both sides insist they want to get a deal done to bring the QB back for an 18th season.
"Ben Roethlisberger and I met yesterday morning and we had a productive meeting, Rooney said in a statement.
"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."
So, what's the problem? Ben's contract -- it's too damn big.
Under his current deal, 39-year-old Roethlisberger is set to make around $19 mil in salary and bonuses in 2021 ... but the team would take a $41 million salary-cap hit.
The Steelers are reportedly about $30 million over the cap, according to ProFootballTalk, which means they can't bring Ben back without restructuring his contract to lower the cap hit.
"We both understand the next step is to work out Ben’s contract situation," Rooney said.
Look, it's good news for Ben that his team wants him back -- that's a positive thing -- but it's worth noting that Rooney is NOT guaranteeing they'll get a deal done.
The big question ... is Ben willing to take less money or restructure his deal to less favorable terms in order to remain with the Steelers, the only team he's ever played for?