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Roethlisberger’s cap number approaches $19 million in 2014

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With Ben Roethlisberger due to earn a base salary of $12.1 million in 2014, many have asked why the Steelers would be compelled in the coming offseason to extend his contract.

The problem, per a source with knowledge of the contract, is that Roethlisberger’s cap number approaches $19 million in 2014. Specifically, it’s $18.895 million.

The extra $6.795 million comes from three (yes, three) prior restructurings that entailed converting base salary to guaranteed payments in order to create cap space. With only two years left on the deal, another effort to shift weekly pay to a lump sum and drop the cap number becomes more difficult because the guaranteed money can be spread over only two years.

If, for example, $10 million of his $12.1 million base salary becomes a bonus, $5 million remains charged to 2014, with the other $5 million charged to 2015. Which will increase his 2015 cap number to $23.395 million — even though Roethlisberger’s base salary will be only $11.6 million in 2015.

The Steelers definitely need cap space. Per a league source, they have $132 million in commitments for 2014, despite having only 40 players under contract.

So the Steelers need to sign Roethlisberger to a new contract. The question becomes whether he wants to be paid like Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Drew Brees, or whether Ben will take less, like Tom Brady did.

The Steelers need him to take less. If he refuses, then the Steelers have no choice but to consider their options, even if they currently have no intention of utilizing them.

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49 Responses to “Roethlisberger’s cap number approaches $19 million in 2014”
  1. chawk12thman says: Nov 19, 2013 8:13 PM

    It’s a business and one that is not forgiving for those that restructure to delay the inevitable cap space issues. This will be his last year as a Steeler. They are going to have to do a reset of the elderly team. It happens to every team, eventually.

  2. footballfan01 says: Nov 19, 2013 8:13 PM

    He needs to lower his QB rating and increase his interceptions so he can get that Flacco money.

  3. dietrich43 says: Nov 19, 2013 8:16 PM

    They will sign him to a three year extension, like every other time he had two years left and a big cap number. Several guys havebig numbers in the last year of their deal. I expect them to extend Ike and that Troy takes a paycut and adds a few years, aka the Aaron Smith retirement deal.

  4. arlingtonsynn says: Nov 19, 2013 8:18 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take less money. Now that he is married… he doesn’t need quite as much hush money.

  5. jakec4 says: Nov 19, 2013 8:19 PM

    Take less for what? It’s delicate saying this because I’m a Ravens fan, but if I’m Ben I’m not liking the idea of making less than Flacco.

  6. rextraordinaire says: Nov 19, 2013 8:20 PM

    Remember people, restructuring a contract doesn’t solve the problem, it only saves the problem for later at an unreasonable interest rate.

    Its hard to start a very necessary rebuilding stage when you’re right up against the salary cap.

  7. noeffinway says: Nov 19, 2013 8:23 PM

    When I think of this qb I think of a washed-up old boxer.

  8. thepftpoet says: Nov 19, 2013 8:23 PM

    And the 0-6 run continues…

    Here we go squealers, here we go

  9. posmoo says: Nov 19, 2013 8:27 PM

    trade him for a 1 and 2 to the texans.

  10. dobreshunka says: Nov 19, 2013 8:31 PM

    Ben knows what he’s got in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers know what they’ve got in Ben. Say what you will, but the man has grown up tremendously since getting married, and there’s no way he’s going to hurt the team with unreasonable demands. Steelers will be fair, and he’ll make a ton, but not the most (certainly less than Flacco, though he’s twice the QB). Problem solved and the team moves on to much bigger problems, like where are we going to get a left tackle?

  11. beerbudsnbevo says: Nov 19, 2013 8:32 PM

    Time to rebuild.

    He can go spend a couple years in Jacksonville or Tampa…

  12. beerbudsnbevo says: Nov 19, 2013 8:34 PM

    posmoo says:
    Nov 19, 2013 8:27 PM
    trade him for a 1 and 2 to the texans.

    That’s a bit much.

    They also need to rebuild, and let’s just see about this Keenum kid before you risk the next 5 years over an old QB

  13. buzzbeaubank says: Nov 19, 2013 8:35 PM

    In what universe is Ben worth a 2, nevermind a 1?

  14. anicra says: Nov 19, 2013 8:38 PM

    Thats nothing. 2015 Romo is going to be 25.3M cap hit.

  15. joemammy says: Nov 19, 2013 8:39 PM

    So, Ben’s “Farewell Tour” begins in Cleveland this Sunday.

    Goodbye, Ben. Hello, basement!

  16. ddjesus says: Nov 19, 2013 8:41 PM

    Sounds like a bad front office, to continuously push back Ben’s pay days until it all comes together in a salary cap hell storm. You had how long to clear cap room since his last contract restructure? You didn’t know this was coming?

  17. radrntn says: Nov 19, 2013 8:41 PM

    it’s great to know that a 77 million dollar contract is under valued, and 33 million fully guaranteed for two years is a downright bargain……

  18. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 19, 2013 8:47 PM

    Someone’s lying. I bet it’s the only owners in the league in the gaming biz.

  19. mantastic54 says: Nov 19, 2013 8:48 PM

    How does a team with so few good players have so little cap space?

  20. realitycheckbaby says: Nov 19, 2013 8:52 PM

    If they lowered his pay to something tangible…

    Let’s say his IQ, then they’d have plenty of money.

  21. mackcarrington says: Nov 19, 2013 8:53 PM

    Why do people keep comparing him to Joe Flacco in terms of a contract? Aren’t they both at different stages of their careers?

  22. pacificnw7722 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:07 PM

    Trade him while he STILL has value and draft for the future……

  23. alchemistcirca1979 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:09 PM

    there’s always a story if you’re willing to look hard enough.

    last week it was Ben wasn’t going to ever get anything near 20 mill. so he wanted a possible trade.

    Remember they story last week how he didn’t put in the work “Manning” does in the film room? Then on Sunday he goes out and calls his own plays to pick a defense apart.

    The Steelers are actually winning a few games so its not fun talking about how much they stink. So what else can a person who depends on interesting sports stories for a career suppose to do?

  24. bobman2 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:14 PM

    While Brady’s contract extension was cap friendly, keep in mind the guarantee portion ($57 M for Brady regardless of what happens): He basically got $31M in a lump sum ($30M bonus and $1M Year One salary. The contracts have to be evaluated three ways–in a cash sense (what’s going out of the bank each year), a cap sense (what’s allocated to each year) and a market sense (how does it benchmark with peer contracts). Brady’s met the market because of the humongous guarantee–a very high initial cost deal to the team because of the front-loading bonii and the Pats took a big risk that he’d last at least those two years. If he got hurt tomorrow and his career ended, they’d have paid $57M for one year–not good for the team, sweet for the player. It’s not like he took a pay cut. IN terms of “annual salary,” yes, in terms of what the team owes him, no.

    Ben’s history and style of play, as well as his age, might make him a poor candidate for this type of deal (i.e. he’s more likely to get walloped and end his career than Brady). Maybe the team won’t take that risk. Flacco’s relative youth and awesome postseason made his deal kinda palatable (gasp). Peyton Manning is basically on a two year deal with annual extension options–very little cap monkey business there because everybody knew they were dealing with a pretty finite window of 2-4 years.

  25. assuredmutualdestruction says: Nov 19, 2013 9:17 PM

    Dude isn’t worth 19 dollars, let alone 19 million.

  26. Deb says: Nov 19, 2013 9:20 PM

    @dobreshunka …

    Ben’s a couple of years older and leads a quieter lifestyle now than he did in 2010. That doesn’t give the fanbase insight into his financial or business priorities. He may be willing to take a paycut to stay with the Steelers. But it would be foolish for fans to bank on that.

    The Steelers cannot carry that cap load with the amount of rebuilding the team needs. They will have to make a decision that’s in the long-term interests of the organization. Ben will have to make the best decision for himself and his future. I think all the emotion we saw from Peyton and Irsay when Manning left Indy was real. He didn’t want to go and they didn’t want him to go. But he still went.

  27. thetooloftools says: Nov 19, 2013 9:25 PM

    Grab the oney Ben and walk out the door baby. BOOM. THANK YOU.
    Haley is going to get you killed.

  28. thereyougo2 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:31 PM

    These opinions about this top five QB are plain stupid. Like he’s not worth a one and/or a two draft choice. This guy has two rings and the last one he put the ball on the money with as much pressure as you get in a football game. I ‘m sure half the leagues teams would go all out to get him except he’s not going anywhere. Another made up story by today’s sports writers.

  29. socalraider909 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:37 PM

    He would look good in Silver and Black but there is no way Reggie would trade for him

  30. nemobhax says: Nov 19, 2013 9:48 PM

    I don’t even pretend to understand the NFL salary cap.

  31. whodey420 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:53 PM

    Trade Ben to Arizona with Arians for a 1 and 2! Oh wait!! They already have an old QB in Arizona someone was stupid enough to give up a 1 and 2 for! lol

  32. steelers88 says: Nov 19, 2013 9:57 PM

    Big Ben is not going anywhere the Steelers will release Troy, Clark, Taylor, and Kiesel before they move Big Ben.

  33. melikefootball says: Nov 19, 2013 10:02 PM

    I thought all the talk this week would be picking up the flag in North Carolina.

  34. broncosaddict says: Nov 19, 2013 10:15 PM

    Ben is a decent/solid qb that is hard to bring down. (he is not great, his SB was more a product of walking on to a good team.
    That being said, he’s way better then flacco. he definitely deserves to be paid more then flacco… neither rate more then 10 million a year though.
    Bens problem is going to be finding a bigger sucker then the ravens if he wants “flacco” money.
    unfortunately, i doubt thats going to happen.

  35. badmoonrison says: Nov 19, 2013 10:33 PM

    He’ll probably end up on another team somehow or someway in 2014. The Squealers arent exactly known for spending big bucks on their players. They’re one of the cheaper franchises who’ve benefited from drafting well.

  36. blackngold4life says: Nov 19, 2013 10:49 PM

    Usually the teams that have no cap space have multiple Pro Bowlers every year, bad Contracts or an inept front office..Guess which 2 the Steelers have…

  37. quittsburghstoolers says: Nov 19, 2013 11:04 PM

    19 mill? For that guy? lol!

    I hope they pay that. That number will cripple the team further in order to keep happy a rapidly aging, overrated QB whose best days are now in the rearview mirror.

    Of course, if they were smart, they’d let him go since the team needs to rebuild & get younger anyways.

    But the whiny fans will burst into tears over that so I doubt it will happen, even though the Steelers are gonna suck no matter what. Either by being an aging team with holes to fill or a rebuilding team of young guys who need time to get better…

  38. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 19, 2013 11:26 PM

    After seeing last week that he still has that “best QB in the league” capability, getting Ben at $19M is a steal. Let him play out his deal, franchise him for 2 more years. He’ll have at least tied Bradshaw’s SBs by then, and will go down as the most accomplished QB of the Brady/Manning era, ironically enough.

  39. Snwdemon says: Nov 20, 2013 12:16 AM

    I believe that Ben will take a pay reduction because he wants to be a Steeler for his entire career. He has made more money than he can shake a stick at, so I think he will get a new contract that pays him less. Just a Brady took a pay cut in order to remain with the Patriots for his entire career, I believe that Ben will do the same thing.

  40. dino2997 says: Nov 20, 2013 12:27 AM

    He isn’t worth it. Simply put. Does he even have trade value? Steve McNair #2 in that his body is about to give out pretty soon and was never that good to begin with.

  41. mshawn75 says: Nov 20, 2013 12:36 AM

    Re-structuring is just a nice way of saying, “put this on my credit card”. Just like in real life, eventually… the bill comes due. Cowboys are next. They are already way over the cap for 2014.

  42. osiris33 says: Nov 20, 2013 1:28 AM

    Ben has all the leverage I’d he wants out. And why wouldn’t he? This is 3 year rebuilding process at least and he hates Haley. Stealers won’t contend again for a long time.

  43. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 20, 2013 7:59 AM

    Andy Dalton (2011-2013):

    10021 yards – 68 td – 44 int – 13 fumbles

    $612,009 salary

    ben roethlisberger (2011-2013):

    10243 yards – 64 td – 32 int – 24 fumbles

    $11,600,000 salary

  44. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Nov 20, 2013 9:47 AM

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Nov 20, 2013 7:59 AM
    Andy Dalton (2011-2013):

    10021 yards – 68 td – 44 int – 13 fumbles

    $612,009 salary

    ben roethlisberger (2011-2013):

    10243 yards – 64 td – 32 int – 24 fumbles

    $11,600,000 salary
    ———————-
    Rookie contract, genius…if the Bungles don’t ruin him first, he’ll be getting paid no later than 2015.

  45. matthew1516 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:50 AM

    Big Ben is the face of the franchise, and one of the premier players in this league. There is not another quarterback who could deal with the uniquely awful offensive line play and lack of offensive weapons that Ben has managed in his career. Steelers fans waited 26 years for a championship, and it is because of #7 that they’ve won two and almost three during his tenure. It would be suicide to trade him. He will retire as a Steeler. They may unload Polamalu or Taylor, and they’d love to get rid of Woodley, but Big Ben stays in Pittsburgh.

  46. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 20, 2013 9:57 AM

    buzzbeaubank says:
    Nov 19, 2013 8:35 PM
    In what universe is Ben worth a 2, nevermind a 1?

    55 72
    Report comment. The same universe that gave Flacco a 100 million contract….Ben is much better! Maybe not a one but two twos could work. Steelers won’t trade him.

  47. jtbsteeler says: Nov 20, 2013 1:09 PM

    Broncos fans,

    Peyton Manning chokes in the playoffs. Have a good day!

  48. jmblosser82 says: Nov 20, 2013 9:45 PM

    Regular season, P Nanning greatest if his era, going by titles and appearances Ben is right behind Brady..

    Don’t worry rustbelt, the fleecing Dalton gives the Bengals in his new contract will make Ozzie look like a genius in the Flacco deal.

  49. realitycheckbaby says: Nov 21, 2013 9:23 PM

    steelcurtainn says: Nov 20, 2013 11:43 PM

    Based off those comments Big Ben is going nowhere until he reaches his 3rd championship in Pittsburgh. I welcome it. If the Rooneys don’t cough up the money he will take the hometown discount and retire a steeler. Take it to the bank.
    =============================

    He’ll also retire before he gets his 3rd championship in Pittsburgh.

    Book it.

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