Steelers 2-a-days: Ben Roethlisberger not aging; can Pine-Richland’s Kevin Rader make team?
Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2019 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly alphabetical order, (at least) two per day, between June 14 and July 26.
QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Experience: 16th season
Contract status: $26.2 million cap hit in 2019, signed through 2021
2019 outlook: Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame bona fides already are secured. His retirement whispers of two years ago also seemed to have subsided — an $80 million contract perhaps makes it difficult to step away. But that $37.5 million bonus check aside, it was a tumultuous offseason for the Steelers career leader in most every passing category. Roethlisberger enters 2019 as the reigning NFL passing champion but also needing to prove he can succeed guiding an offense lacking a future Hall of Fame receiver after Antonio Brown was traded. Roethlisberger’s reputation as a leader is also, in part, on the line as a result of the circumstances of Brown’s departure. In regards to onfield play, at some point Big Ben will decline, but there are scant signs that has happened yet.
TE KEVIN RADER
Experience: Spent 2018 rookie training camp with Packers after signing as undrafted free agent
Contract status: $495,000 cap hit in 2019, under contractual control for four accrued seasons
2019 outlook: Rader has made a name for himself in the tri-state area while playing for Pine-Richland and Youngstown State. His catch that sent the latter to the 2016 FCS national championship game brought him national attention. Now, Rader hopes to make an impression with the Steelers, who signed him to a futures deal in January and have open spots on their tight ends depth chart. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Rader had 41 catches in his college career. If he makes the Steelers, it will be because he showed promise as a blocker.
With the season on the line…
— FCS Football (@NCAA_FCS) January 7, 2017
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .