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Rooney hints that Steelers won’t try to extend Roethlisberger

Ben AP

With cap numbers of $18.895 and $18.395 million, respectively, over the final two years of his current contract, most assume that the Steelers’ annual effort to create cap room via renegotiating quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s deal will entail a contract extension.

Owner Art Rooney II told a trio of reporters on Wednesday that there won’t necessarily be an extension.

Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney said that Roethlisberger knows “our intention is we want him here beyond this contact.”  But Rooney added that the team possibly won’t extend the current contract in 2014 or 2015.

The Steelers have at times extended the contracts of starting quarterbacks with two years remaining.  But Rooney said that’s “not set in stone . . . it’s not something that’s automatic.”

The shrewd message from Rooney is that the Steelers will find a way to carry Roethlisberger’s cap number if necessary, which means that he’d make only $12.1 million in base salary for 2014.  And that undercuts Roethlisberger’s primary leverage for a contract that would pay him, if he had his way, at or close to market value of $18 million to $20 million per year.

If the Steelers keep Roethlisberger at $12.1 million in 2014 and $11.6 million in 2015, he’d be two years older — with two more years of wear and tear — when finally eligible to test the market.  The downside would be that, if the Steelers wanted to use the franchise tag in 2016, he’d be entitled to a 20-percent raise of his $18.395 million cap number, which equates to $22.074 million.

Regardless, the message (for now) from the Steelers is that they don’t need to extend the deal (even if their cap situation otherwise says they do).  Which would keep Roethlisberger’s pay for the coming year at only (only?) $12.1 million.

It’s also possible that the Steelers would ask him to do one more so-called “simple” restructuring, which would result in the conversion of a portion of his $12.1 million salary to an offseason signing bonus.  Because only one year remains on the current deal, half the amount would count against this year’s salary cap, and the other half would hit the cap next year.

Of course, Roethlisberger could choose to decline to take a lump sum in the offseason, arguing instead that it’s time for an extension.  If that would happen, things could quickly get interesting.

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17 Responses to “Rooney hints that Steelers won’t try to extend Roethlisberger”
  1. bassplucker says: Jan 8, 2014 5:09 PM

    I can’t see Ben having much left in the tank after two more seasons.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 8, 2014 5:17 PM

    If the Steelers won’t try to extend his contract, Ben won’t try to extend the play.

  3. tremoluxman says: Jan 8, 2014 5:23 PM

    Dude, come to Minnesota. Patterson, Jennings, Wright, Rudolph, and Peterson. ‘Kay?

  4. cowboysfaninbuffalove says: Jan 8, 2014 5:24 PM

    Landry Jones will be the starter in 3 years

  5. Steeley McBeam says: Jan 8, 2014 5:36 PM

    It will be worked out for the best. Even if they decide to wait in two more seasons Ben will still be 4 years young than Peyton is now, minus the neck surgeries.

    Honestly, as crazy as it sounds best case my be to restructure him once again, then extend next offseason. That alleviates his cap hit this year, pays him $12m base which is a steal, and they can dissolve the dead money next offseason with an extension.

    Either way, he’ll be here for the long haul, as long as the Steelers want him to stay.

  6. egomaniac247 says: Jan 8, 2014 5:40 PM

    Only making $12 million vs $18 million.

    Rich people problems.

  7. bobzilla1001 says: Jan 8, 2014 6:16 PM

    The plot thickens…
    Roethlisberger played every down and every offenses snap this season to prove he’s more durable now that at anytime in his career. He appeared to be more “in tune” with his coaches following the “leaked” rumor that he wanted traded.
    Where was this dedicated and durability the previous five or six seasons? That’s probably the same question the Rooneys are asking.
    In this era of “Instant QB Stardom” (look how long it took the Colts to replace Manning), the Rooneys’ eyes might have been opened … ironically by Roethlisberger himself.

  8. Deb says: Jan 8, 2014 6:16 PM

    Hmmm … would I rather have a lump sum today or negotiate an extension back-loaded to a year I may never reach due to injury or some other unforeseen disaster? Given the rigors of the job, I’d take the bird in the hand.

  9. ravensbob says: Jan 8, 2014 6:18 PM

    Turn out the lights, the party’s over!

  10. steelcurtainn says: Jan 8, 2014 6:41 PM

    The Rooneys know exactly what their doing. When the time is right Big Ben will get an extension. Who says it has to be this year. Big Ben has at least 4 years left and hopefully he can bring the steelers at least one more championship. Two would be nice. I hope they can target another Big play tall receiver and another dominant lineman although they need to get better defensively in the draft.

  11. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 8, 2014 8:56 PM

    Smart move. Dude will be a beast the next few years, well worth every penny.

  12. eddiek77 says: Jan 8, 2014 9:07 PM

    Two more years? Or one more year and a buy-out of sorts? Ben will look real good in Cardinal red. The Steelers wrote the book on how *not* to do contracts.

  13. dirtdawg54 says: Jan 8, 2014 10:35 PM

    The Steelers’ cap room is not nearly the problem people make it out to be. Woodley is done as a Steeler and that will clear some space, as could letting Ike go. There’s no rush to extend Big Ben, especially since there is little certainty a 34+ year old Big Ben will be all that effective. The guy has already lost some of his mobility and he’s taken a pounding during his time in the league. It’s not foolhardy to wait a year before deciding what to do with him.

  14. DiscountMescan says: Jan 9, 2014 8:29 AM

    Landry Jones, holy crap that’s hilarious. He couldn’t beat out Charlie Batch of 2015. Bubby Brister has a better shot at being the starting QB in 2015

  15. southcarolinamike says: Jan 10, 2014 12:46 PM

    The Rooneys have managed Ben almost perfectly over the past few months. This is further evidence as to what a good job they are doing. Ben has an entire city along with the media kissing his butt all of the time. At some point, someone has to stop the kissing and make him uncomfortable and that’s what the ownership is doing. Being a little uncomfortable is good for a player and good for a team.

    Players never get younger and healthier over time. Ben’s time in Pittsburgh is coming to a close over the next two seasons. Why keep him around an extra year violating the Steelers philosophy of better to cut a guy a year too early than a year too late? It makes no sense to keep him when QBs are so easily replaceable.

    I’ve always thought Ben was similar in style to a Donovan McNabb. Mobile guys who are streak passers. The older they got, the more exaggerated the traits become. The less mobile they become, the more exaggerated the streak passing becomes to the point that the down times in the streak outweigh the positives. McNabb played for 11 years for Philadelphia. Ben will have almost the same number of years of service with Pittsburgh after 2015. McNabb played for two different teams in two years after Philadelphia doing very little. I could see the same thing happening to Ben.

    I like Ben, but 13 years will be enough and it will be time for a change. They can’t make a change now, but I actually think the young QBs produced these days would be an improvement over Ben.

  16. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 12, 2014 11:54 PM

    bobzilla1001 says:
    Jan 8, 2014 6:16 PM
    The plot thickens…
    Roethlisberger played every down and every offenses snap this season to prove he’s more durable now that at anytime in his career. He appeared to be more “in tune” with his coaches following the “leaked” rumor that he wanted traded.
    Where was this dedicated and durability the previous five or six seasons? That’s probably the same question the Rooneys are asking.
    In this era of “Instant QB Stardom” (look how long it took the Colts to replace Manning), the Rooneys’ eyes might have been opened … ironically by Roethlisberger himself.
    ———————————————–

    bob, why don’t you go back to LYING about how many points Peyton Manning was responsible for in last year’s playoff game, to pump HIM up, rather than lying about Ben’s situation here? (For evidence of the lie, go check out the Denver playoff game threads.) Seriously, you’re going to question Ben’s “durability” as the QB behind one of the NFL’s most porous lines, as opposed to Manning and Brady, who get to enjoy sandwiches and cups of coffee back there? And now you’re going to imply he’s been FAKING getting hurt all along?

    It’s amazing how you’ll LIE to defend some other team’s QB, but use the lie to rip your OWN supposed team’s QB. It just doesn’t make sense.

    Frankly it’s now gotten to the point where it sickens me.

    Join the campaign! Demand that bob stop pretending to be a Steeler fan, and put on the New England jersey he’s probably been wearing all along anyway!

    Join the campaign. Text “Bob we demand you give up your pretend Steeler fan hood” to 5678.

  17. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 13, 2014 12:46 AM

    You obviously don’t live in the ‘burgh, do you “south carolina” mike? I can assure you, far from having his “butt kissed” around town, it’s just the opposite. In fact, Roethlisberger is probably the most underappreciated star athlete the town has ever had. I can think of about 20 other towns that would kill to have him as their team’s QB but in Pittsburgh, they’re still recycling supposed stories about jerk behavior that go back to the Milledgeville saga.

    “QBs are so easily replaceable”? Yes, and we’ve seen so many replaced, from Brister to Tomczak to Kordell. All those guys just went to show that ANYONE can win championships at QB, it’s just that easy! Hey, why not just dump Ben now and start the Landry Jones era, he’s certainly as good enough a guy as any to do the replacing!

    And nice job with the McNabb comparison. Let’s see, one guy led one of the greatest clutch winning drives in Super Bowl history, the other one was known for throwing up on the field and losing.

    The Rooneys have managed NOTHING over the last few months except to show that Artie Jr. does a great Jerry Jones imitation. And that Artie’s outdated idea of “Steelers football” is something he needs to shut up about — as evidenced by the fact that when the offense got back to BEN’S style of play, they started averaging a lot more points a game.

    Wake up son, before it’s too late.

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